tv U.S. Senate CSPAN August 24, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT
it seems to not do much damage and is okay. if the voter is in a state in that i think that's all right. >> but you're just fine with the federal model the way it is. you're not advocating -- >> that's correct. >> when a state system gets really bad -- i know your concerns with states that have contested partisan elections to fill the vacancy of the asset because i think it's difficult to reconcile that with the need of judicial independence do you have a state system that involves the purchase system that apparently is influenced from time to time in a destructive way? do you think there is every reason for the federal
government to consider intervening or is that of to the state? >> i think it's up to the state. but certainly most states if you are going to consider something that affects the state at large it is going to have an opportunity to hear from the voters on the proposal and have some debate and that's good. you will hear all of this if you do. >> you certainly wouldn't regard that as a due process concern that would warrant federal legislation requiring states to do it one way or another? >> no, i don't think so. we have left the states free to choose their own methods of judicial selection. >> i certainly agree with that. finally, you were a longtime advocate of the federalism while on the supreme court and a strong believer in the fact that there is a difference between state power and federal power
and we have to respect that for the system to operate correctly. what would you advise the lawmakers about how best to protect that system? the federal lawmakers about how they can protect the federal system and the distribution of power between state government on one hand and federal government on the other hand? >> welcome all members of this body, the senate come from one or the other of the states that all representatives of the states and you have experience for the voters care about in terms of judicial selection. i'm sure all of you have had that. i don't think i need to give any advice but you will have plenty of it at the state level is my guess. >> we do get advice from time to time. thank you very much. my time is expired. >> thank you.
as i told you presently before, i agree with justice o'connor's reference to your father. we have senator blumenthal of connecticut, former attorney general in the state, and i would yield to senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and as a former attorney general for some 20 years, and a very strong believer in federalism, and i would agree with senator lee that we get advice but i also would suggest we need advice and so any ideas you have on that score, but also i want to focus on a point that senator grassley made in his opening remarks which is the apparent decline in public approval, poll
numbers we all this mess poll numbers when the results don't sue us but they still are reflective of something happening, and the reason we are here today is because of the need to educate the public about what you did for so many years with such distinction and dedication in serving on the united states supreme court, and we also have a reverence if not respect for the institution and the need to preserve the legitimacy and credibility of the institution, so i wonder if you would give your assessment as to why there has been this decline in the public approval or respect for the institution. >> i wish i knew. i didn't conduct the poll, so
i'm not sure. i have read some articles about the polling that took place and the argument being made that perhaps the decline -- the percentage of u.s. voter approval of the supreme court historically has been higher generally than that of the other branches, and in very recent months it seems to have declined rather substantially and the suggestion has been made that that began with the bush court decision. i have no idea if that is correct in terms of the assessment of the polling. it is conceivable because there was a very tense case that involved a very close election and people would probably feel deeply about it and maybe be
concerned. so perhaps the was the tipping point for the decline peery i hope it will be temporary because the supreme court functions extremely well. i think as we look worldwide we can be proud of our core to. it served the nation well and i think by and large it is a marvelous institution. so i would think over time the opinion would turn upward again. i certainly hope so and i would expect that. >> and i would agree with you certainly in the assessment of the supreme court work and in the hope that public approval will increase over time and as one who has done arguments in the court and has been a law clerk in the court and has watched and observed the court, i think the public often simply doesn't see the work of the court because by and large it
isn't bush v. gore or citizens united. its day-to-day work that is really much more mundane and complicated and challenging and in a certain intellectual way but less politically charged and so, i wonder -- and i know you were asked about this earlier, whether increasing public access to the court's work -- >> like cameras in the court? >> welcome i know you were asked. >> i didn't really address it. i do think it's important to remember that every word that is a say in that courtroom is transcribed and available that same night and if anybody wants to see and read what was said, there it is in black and white. there it is. so it's not that there is a lack of ability to know what is going on. it's their.
it's just the we have to have it on camera and on the television or is it enough that it can be available the very night and you can read? i guess it baliles down to that. i am the reader. so don't ask me. i tend to read more than i watched television. >> i'm not going to comment on reading versus television because everyone has his or her own style of learning, but in light of the prevalence of television and the impact, the powerful effect of the visual portrayal, i wonder whether you think it might be worth considering opening at least certain arguments to broad view and if on that, whether there is
some way of increasing the supreme court argument because after all, the number of people permitted in the courtroom is very small. estimate is limited because the court room is not that large, so you are never going to have a huge crowd that can sit in the courtroom. there are some adjacent chambers where you can hear at, and i guess this is a discussion that is going to continue for a while. you have members of the court at present who are not at all comfortable with televising the proceedings, and i think if and when a changes made, it probably is more likely to be made when the members of the court are going to accept that. >> some of the members of the court have sat where you are now and said in effect -- i'm taking
great license with their remarks in the fact that not over my dead body that is how vehement they were in opposition to televising the court hearings. but, i think if i may respectfully suggest you are in a unique position because not only are you a highly respected and member of the court but in different languages and that the state level and so forth, so in your opinion would carry great weight if and when you are able to set it forth that is a great move to make and if there is severe opposition coming from the court itself it is a source of concern.
>> i want to thank you for being here today for honoring us for your many years of extraordinary work for our justice system. my time has expired. i think that your presence and testimony has helped enhance and any additional thoughts -- >> thank you, senator. i have been spending enormous time on my civics effort to educate young people how the government works and how they can be part of it. and i will say that i think ferre the method we are using is extremely effective. we've had it tested university recently completed, a rather extensive test and they came back with extraordinary good reviews of the effectiveness which is encouraging and the extreme and will continue to develop some additional games on a different topic for.
i'm excited about it, and would be wonderful if when you speak to schools in your state you can encourage them to use at because it does work. >> i would be honored and delighted to do it very much so and i hope we can follow and learn more about how we can go into detail. >> i managed to keep it free with today's cost of changing programs that's been important. >> mr. chairman i want to know for the record that one justice who came before the committee did say. i know you know that justice o'connor, so maybe we will see that change that you referred to over time so thank you very much. >> thank you. >> as one of the ones here today we had a debate in televising
you were here that time or another we had some vehemently against it some in favor of it and others could go either way. notwithstanding i think it's been a good thing for the american public to see how we deliver it. but senator sessions, thank you. before you came in, we noted that there are a lot of students in the room and in relation to the justice civic course, so we have a lot of students here in the room. go ahead, sir. >> justice o'connor, it's great to have you with us. i so truly believe in having traveled around the world a good bet the armed services committee and some difficult places i am
more convinced of the precious nature of the rule of law in america than i've ever been. >> absolutely, senator. it matters and we have been promoting that since the breakup of the soviet union, and i think the american bar deserves some credit here because when the soviet union began to break apart in the nation states began to form lawyers gathered together and they went over and serve as unpaid volunteers in many of the forming countries and helped develop a judicial systems and the notion of the rules law and it's been a good thing. >> i couldn't agree more. but i would just say i remember we after on the iraq invasion being with general petraeus he reestablished the court.
>> i know. >> they tried to appoint lawyers for but i think you know it is many years and decades and centuries to create the kind of legal system. >> it does. you can't do it overnight or even in a year or two or three years. it takes long term development. >> i am of the view that the coordination needs to maintain its independence and attachment from politics as much as it possibly can and to the extent that the justices are concerned the cameras might erode that just a little bit and create more of a political spin on the careful legal work they do. i support to the miser for the
court on not having cameras in the courtroom live, and would just say fundamentally i'd think it's a decision left to the judicial branch, not the legislative branch. and i remember being in a share when robert byrd spoke he would come down on friday after 11:00 and make speeches and that was my time to preside. he made a speech about textbooks and the differences between the two and how the textbooks had not properly delineated the difference in closing. it was touchy-feely and the textbook. so with respect that you are working to our young people understand this magnificent
legal system we have, i think you very much. we would pursue this a little further. to me the most precious thing that could be taught to young people is the courts are not independent add to the kid that the discreet legal problems but there is somehow a part of the political process and the rulings are based on the political stress and pressure and use of the justices and this could erode the kind of respect americans should give to the court is that a concern for you? >> very much so. i agree with you completely and it is best to maintain the independence of the judicial branch. that is what the framers designed. it's worked quite well with the federal level and we need to try to maintain that the state level
was well. i happen to think that holding a judicial elections in the states is not the best way to go, but that gets too much political influence in the campaign contributions. that's dangerous. we don't need to do this. >> i can see that concern. i'm not sure that i share it, but my understanding it is a valid concern. the constitution contemplates that the court would be independent and judicatures to which i was pleased when justice roberts referred to us as an independent what did he say, neutral and higher like in the ball game they don't take sides to advance one team or another but they do their best every day to call a strikes. i think that's an image on the metaphor that's a valid and we should push.
there are times the court doesn't do that. the court is allowed parcel eddy logical views and political insights to impact their decision making to reversed, would you agree that the justice justices should guard against that and deliver it in the oath which is to be a judge under the constitution and the law of the united states? >> of course i do. >> i've served on the court for 25 years and i entered it without a lot of inside knowledge with respect to the structure the framers developed. i left after 25 years with the knowledge and understanding that it works remarkably well along those lines. so i think we've been fortunate.
>> well, i think that my personal view is the greatest danger to the independence of the american judiciary would be heavily on the part of the american people that is not adhering to that role but is using the power to interpret the rules of statutes and the constitution to advance an agenda, and would be a great tragedy if that were to happen to lose contrast with regards to the court, i tried to -- i believe an american citizen has the right to question the court but i believe we should do it respectfully, and some of the criticisms from the congress i think is over the top, but i would say that in my view is a
nominee comes in the judiciary for confirmation and they are not philosophically committed to the limited role of the judge or the record indicates that they are not, i can't give them that point. but that is my standard in this agreement how to interpret the law if you are outside of that, then i think you are not under the constitution. i shouldn't give you a lifetime appointment. so i guess people can disagree. senator leahy and i agree sometimes and sometimes we don't about where the line should be drawn but i do think that congress has a role to try to ensure the judiciary remains a major one tire. would you not agree? >> the senate plays a key role in the overall process in terms
of agreeing at the outset who's going to be serving and who isn't. estimate i would conclude by saying how much i appreciate the interest and educating the next generation because i've become convinced we are not fully appreciative of the uniqueness of the wonderful legal system we have how it is unlike any nation in the world that served a magnificent and has created our growth, prosperity and freedom, and if we get a misconception about how the system works, i think it could endanger. mr. chairman, thank you for having justice o'connor with us. >> senator sessions, the justice is coming before us as an educational thing.
the icivics. i like that very much. senator sessions mentioned the views we hear is in the opener. as i recall one nation had been under the tinto treen for misgovernment move towards democracy in a group of their leaders can't see me and said is it true that in your country sometimes people sue the government? i said it happens all the time. >> but is it true that sometimes the government loses? i said it often happens. then do you replace the judge? when i explained the light bulb
goes on and they realized we really are different. you end of the icivics web site center sessions talks about in the majority of the supreme court decision are women. >> that's my fault. [laughter] my wife's family can from canada and in canada the majority of the supreme court are women to read >> the chief justice in canada at the moment and they have had historic the more women than we have in the majority. >> that's right, and to what extent do you think the diversity of the court or anywhere on the top of the branches increase public confidence? >> i think it does. our citizens like to look at the
u.s. senate and see some diverse spaces, skin color etc, and they like that at the judicial level, too for the record that have multiple members. i think it gives the citizens of some confidence to this gimmick in an interview a few years ago you noted that the statutes and constitutions don't protect the judicial independence, people do. what people are you referring to? >> the judges for one thing, and the voters who in the states put in a system that enables the citizens to have confidence in that system. >> i describe the system we have an vermont where the governor appoints the judges and the legislature votes consent after
a period of years the legislature has a vote on retention, 99% of the time they are retained. what do you think of a system like that? >> it's one step removed from the public. it could work if they satisfied with it, fine, but you could set it up that way if you prefer. but i think most states that have retention elections refer people to the voter to reduce benefits referred to the voter that would be the time people start having to raise money for campaigns, is it not? >> normally it won't if it is just one name that for retention without being contested at some level. there would be no need for campaign money.
>> that's a good point. a few years ago you interviewed justice john paul stevens, and this goes back to the questions on the confirmation. you said that sometimes in the confirmation hearing answering questions and issues, and you may have a different view at that time the issue comes up. is that a fact? >> yes, that's a fact. >> and have you had that happen to you? >> i don't remember specifically. possibly. i don't remember. >> well, would you agree with me that it would be a mistake if in the confirmation process we
should be able to respect it very specific answer on how you are going to vote on a case five years from now? >> yes, i think that is probably not a very good question to even asked a prospective justice. >> is it fell led to ask questions of one's judicial philosophy? >> of course. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> and your background? >> absolutely. >> okay. senator blumenthal? >> i don't think so. >> senator sessions? >> [inaudible] >> well, again, just for the two of you that came in after that, what the students stand up? all the students are here. i think this is great. >> yes. you still have a lot more listening. that's good. [laughter] >> well, justice o'connor, thank you very much thank all of you
who are here, but justice o'connor, thank you very much. >> thank you, senator leahy for your interest and presence. and if you have suggestions about icivics or ways of telling people in your state to use, if you are comfortable doing it, i hope he will. because i think it will help us. >> i have some grandchildren who are going to get a chance -- >> good. i do, too. >> thank you. >> ..
>> tonight here on c-span2 the u.s. ambassadors to canada and canadian ambassador to the u.s. discuss the relationship between the two countries as well as border security and energy. that is at 8:00 eastern. at 9:15 eastern the former head of the british intelligence service delivers remarks on radical figures and how they're used in works of fiction. she woos the first woman to be director-general of mi5
public square and. it looks as political coordination and incivility they look for solutions to have a more peaceful and respected conversation in washington. >> good evening and welcome to night's event. i am ralph lewin. i'm the president of cal humanities. we support and create public humanities programs across california. this is part of a larger initiative we call searching for democracy. we have the 600 events king place across lifornia and a whole slew of them are coming up in san francisco. if you want to find out more, go to our facebook page or sign up on our website and they will have all the san francisco events you can be part of in the coming months leading up to the election. i want to thank zocalo public square and thank our board member bob fair in the audience with us. thanks for being here, bob.
i will pass on over to gregory. >> thank you. i will be quick. thank you, ralph and thank you to the cal humanities for copresenting, paying for this event. we're grateful to vanessa wong and greatful to john carroll and we're also happen to c-span is here tonight. for those who don't know, zocalo public square is nonprofit based in los angeles. our mission to connect people ideas to each other. we present high quality, free fair partnering with organizations like cal humanities. perhaps as importantly we believe to create community you need a modicum of alcohol. after tonight's event we invite you to a reception to speak further with tonight's guests and with each other. did you give them a sense of the upcoming programs? the riverside, on september 25th, we have a provocative title, is die diversity bad for democracy? we'll be in san diego october 1st, particularly in light of the death of
newspapers what does vigilance mean now? we'll close out the series in bakersfield on october 18th by asking, how much does it cost to become president? [laughter] okay. thanks. if you want a quicker updates follow us on face pock or at the public square on twitter. please shut off your telephones. or any artillery or anything you might have that may cause noise or harm. now i'm pleased to introduce tonight's moderator, mr. joe matthews. joe matthews is the coauthor of, california crack up, how reform broke the golden state and how we can fix it. the author of, the people's machine. arnold schwarzenegger and the rise of blockbuster democracy. he is zocola california editor and contributing writer for "the los angeles times" and lead blogger at nbc's california site, prop zero. give a warm welcome to joe
matthews. [applause] >> thank you very much. i'm sort of surprised to be here. i'm a, you know, i'm a resident of los angeles, very proud resident of los angeles but spent my whole career in the media. you can understand when my colleagues said we would do a event on civility, my immediate response was to ask, what's that? i've been reading up. it is a very interesting concept and we might think about trying it. zocalo we look at a big question, is civility overrated is tonight's question from a variety of viewpoints. we have four people here from very different backgrounds, training. a pastor, political zionist, economist/anthropologist, and artist. a scholar of performance. they traveled here from their homes and work places. three great american cities, houston, phoenix, san diego. and one even made a long journey over the water from
an exotic foreign country, berkeley. [laughter] now, civility has been an american obsession from our earliest times. early best-seller about civility called, the rules of civility and decent behavior encompanying conversation included very important advice. citizen public officials such as, put not off your clothes in the presence of others nor go out your chamber half dressed. the author also must have been a meek gentleman for he advised when you meet with one of greater quality than yourself, stop, and retire especially be if at a door or any straight place to give way for him to pass. now the author of this of course was revolutionary, george washington. but his first rule of civility is probably closest we come to aagreed upon definition. we'll do it tonight. every action done in company ought to be done with some sign of respect to those
that are present. in the research on civility there are a bunch much unknowns, a lot of disagreement. but again tt is a very salient definition. but defining this is not enough. there are sort of big question tonight and that question is, how important is civility to democracy, particularly american democracy. we've never been a particularly civil people historians tell us. we've also been a great success as a country. we sense we need civility but, you know what is it uses? is incivility a real problem for democracy? does incivility helped democracy how if so and what are causes and of it. we have four panelists. i will start with casandra, the cofounder of the institute for civility in government based in houston, texas. coauthor of this fine book, reclaiming civilty in the public square.
and you know, and she's, she spoken all over the country. featured everywhere and very good ad bringing people together for civil dialogue, particularly people of different political parties. you know, in work, nonprofit, that goes back to 1998 and even before that, work she did with one of the regional governing bodies of presbyterian church of united states. i was struck in your book. you have beautiful narratives about people behaving civilly. a lot of them are people in washington. you know, there are politicians. people who are sort of playing this political fame. game. they are quite good even if they can't seem to get much done. >> they know how to do it. >> what is the problem? if they know how to do it, they don't do it? is this overrated? >> actually what we have found there is a hunger on the hill for civility. not just among the elected
leaders but among the staff. they are starving for civility, and yet it seems to work against them in many ways and so they find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. i'll leave it at that. >> so, tell me about the goal of your work. you said, quoted several times you're trying to develop a national movement for civility. i guess i wonder how do you do that and also, you know, how do you know, i'm sorry it is a question i asked someone from texas, where is the end zone? how do you know that you have won and you can do the touchdown dance? >> i hope i discover that. how do we do that? let me back up just a little bit to why we started. as you mentioned we use to do work back in the 1990s taking politically diverse groups to washington, d.c. to learn a little bit about the citizens role and, we
had folks all the way from the left to the right, to in between. they didn't care. but the cherry blossoms are in bloom so i will go along. and, they chose five issues they cared about. we arranged briefs for them. got along great. sightseeing, enjoying meals and until they found out they fundamentally disagreed on the issues, on specific bills, on not just general ideas but specific pieces of legislation. and then they didn't get ugly but the conversation stopped. it just stopped. and they didn't know, even when they wanted to talk with one another, they didn't know know how to do it. that's when we became aware within this country we lack a basic skill set for how to stay present with one another in a respectful way when we fundamentally disagree. so that's why we felt like we need to start a movement because the only way we're going to see change in washington is if we
communicate how important that change is. and in order to do that you have to have numbers. >> what do you think if you get if you get more civility? what should we see? >> i think we'll see more creative problem-solving because people will hear ideas right now they're not listening to. i think that you will have a more coliegeal sort of, air on the hill, that will lend itself to cooperation. not, now we are not the institute for con ses -- consensus in government. not that we want everybody to agree all the time and we're not going to agree all the time. i mean that's a given but instead of looking at a problem saying, well it has to be this way or has to be that way, if you get in a conversation you might find there is a third or fourth or fifth or a sixth that doesn't trample over everybody. >> do you feel like you're at work against the whole,
you know, culture? i mean it's, i asked this, we have such a tradition in this country the ideal of speaking out, speaking truth to power. i couldn't resist given, i was going to ask a question of a presbyterian pastor. chapter 58, verse 1, god's instructions are, cry with full throat, without restraint. raise your voice like a ram's horn. that sounds very american to me. >> i think it does too and i think that's exactly what we're doing. we're emphasizing how important civility is and saying this has to be a piece of who we are because if we can not talk with one another in a civil way we can't accomplish anything else and i think this past year is a pretty good indication of that. so i feel like i am speaking to truth to power and i don't feel like i'm working against a culture. i think i'm on the leading wave of what's to come. >> okay. thank you. i want to bring in henry brady, who is the dean of the goldman school of public
policy at uc berkeley. also the class of 1941 monroe deutsch, professor of political science. published more than 80 articles and books on all number of subjects. worked in washington at omb i believe. and he has got a new book out with his long-time collaborators. heavenly chorus. equal political voice and broken promise of american democracy. so let me do the tim russert thing to you and put the quote up on the wall here. you know, you write, you've written, in an e-mail exchange where you said, civility is essential to compromised democracy and that civility is a product of polarization politically. but in your book you write, for the rank-and-file in both parties idealogical polarization has increased much more substantially among those in the highest income quintile than among those lower down on the
income ladder especially those in the bottom quintile. so, is this just a rich people's problem? [laughter] >> it is everybody's problem because those rich people have, as our book shows, perhaps a lot of influence in american politics especially as money becomes more and more important in american politics. so it becomes everybody's problem. but the root of the problem seems to me, going back to what you were saying, casandra, we've got to not only talk to one another, not only listen to one another, realize compromise is not a dirty word and one of the real problematic things about american politics people like grover norquist who says compromise is a bad thing it. it is not a bad thing. that is what politics is all about. we have to ultimately realize we live in a civil society, a civil society, together and that means compromise has got to be essential for us to get things done. we seem to have lost sight of that. >> is civility in and
polarization, really linked? is there research that shows that? >> no, no i think there is no question about it. what we've got now, we got a situation, had really nice era of good feeling after world war ii, in the '50s. that was broken in the '60s with the vietnam war without a doubt. it got especially bad in the '70s and '80s, impacts of the civil rights movement, changes in southern politics, led basically to the rise of a whole lot of new issues, social issues. the trouble with social issues is that abortion is a really tough issue and sort of hard to have a middle position. supreme court decision, roe v. wade actually does have a middle position but that makes people crazy. it is not either pro-choice, or pro-life, somewhere in the middle. those kind of issues are really hard issues for people. easy to go to the corner to say i'm pro-life or pro-choice and that is the only way to be.
that of course leads to a lack of compromise. those issues have become very important in american politics. then increasingly what happens, taxing is moral issue. somehow that is thought to be a bad thing or spending is a bad thing so it is all moralized. >> here's the question. is it, i mean between the two parties we're having civility? i'm not a san franciscan. i look at san francisco politics from afar and wonder, what the heck? on the spectrum to an outsider san francisco politics is very narrow idealogical spectrum yet they seem to fight as bitterly as anybody else here in this town politically. i mean, you know, is it more than just the sort of two parties, getting further away from each other and especially the elites of those parties getting further away? >> talk a little bit what is really going on. in america right now we know in public opinion polls first of all, actually the american public is not more divided than 30 or 40 years ago. what happened we had a
sorting into parties. there used to be liberal or at least moderate republicans. used to be conservative democrats. there is just not those folks anymore around in either of the two parties. so they sorting has led to parties becoming quite rambunctious with one another. fighting a lot, going to their respective corners and that's what i think we're seeing in american politics. that is the nature of politics. there is always a little bit polarization, people taking different points of view. underlying that compromise is important and that is what i think we've really lost. also a sense that, gosh, you might learn from talking to somebody who has a different per speck tiff than you do. i feel lucky in my job because i talk to people in all sorts of opinions and i'm amazed what i learn from talking to people who have much different political views than i do. just, one quick follow-up. you know, there is a lot of research that says, that polarization has the positive effect on something
a lot of people worry about too which is civic engagement. is it not a good thing? is there a way to sort of, kind of take the measure due to the, does the boost we get from greater civic engangment from polarization outweigh or what point does it outweigh whatever damage to civility from the polarization? >> it does not clear it gives a boost. certainly animates. anger is something that animates people. especially given negativity in american politics. we're in the mid of that. we're not a battleground state. we're not seeing all the ads where each side goes at one another. that sort of stuff makes people unhappy about politics. it turns them off and often drives them away from the polls. it is not clear this kind of polarization and incivility leads to more political participation. i think it probably a 10 waits it on balance. >> thank you. i want to bring in the founding director of public conversations west. she's been with, that is a
branch of the san diego of the public conversations project where she has been for 11 years. she has done incredibly important conversations on, child welfare, youth. she has initiated conversations on the san diego-tijuana binational region. she taught at universities all over the country before entering it this field she worked in economic development with multilateral organizations at grassroots level in india. she has a doctorate in social anthropology from cornell university. you've seen a lot of different things in a lot of different contexts. so
can. >> my answer to the question of even something yes and no. your question for the even something civility overrated? i found myself saying, well no, because incivility actually has a lot of dangers and risks and adverse effects. and but, yes, because civility, when we just use that one word, civility, it is often read and heard in a very simple, even simplistic way. so when you ask and civility means avoidance, i think for a lot of people the worry is, is precisely that civility means avoidance. it just, it means just politeness. and i think, for example, you mentioned, that quotation from isaiah. the raise your voice. i heard that, and i didn't think that that call was a
call for, incivility. i don't think raising your voice and, expressing your passion, is necessarily uncivil. and i think, by, taking civility and using, a very, very narrow, domesticated understanding of it, can often suggest what you're talking about is merely politeness and merely avoidance. i think the most significant dialogues like henry was saying are those people really listen and listen to hard things. so one of the pieces of work that the public conversations project did was with pro-life and pro-choice leaders. and those were not polite conversations or not merely polite conversations. they have very civil conversations. >> this, in the context here, this is in the boston area in the mid-1990's after john salvi, seemly shot people in a planned parenthood clinic,
right. >> that's right. that's right. it shocked the both pro-life and pro-choice communities. most of the pro-choice movement, or movements, felt this was not an act that represented them and pro-choice people were afraid but they came together and, had these very significant dialogues. did not compromise. did not compromise but they were talking about things that were very, very hard. this wasn't avoidance. they were talking about things like, what pro-life people call partial-birth abortion and what pro-choice people would call late-term abortion, not an easy topic. not something easy to talk about. so tacking passionately, raising your voice is not necessarily incivility. and civility is not necessarily avoidance. >> are there some topics, i mean you mentioned abortion very front topic, are there some things that are so
outrageous that, a civil response is not the right one? can you be civil in, in, when there is a constitutional war or torture or gross violation of someone's freedom or violence or, you know, any of a number of things that baby boomers keep heaping on us younger generations? are there some outrages so great, you know, that the civil response is not the appropriate response? >> i think again comes down to how you define the civil response. i would say, certainly a strong response, passionate response is completely warranted in many, many, cases. even protest. even loud voices is warranted. where i would put the boundary for where civility becomes relevant to me, i will use the word incivility rather than civility. >> when does it become dangerous. >> when it becomes incivility when it does two things. where the two biggest risks
are. one it obscures what the real issues are. and to give a very simple example, when you call somebody and in contemporary politics, fascist, it obscures what the real critique is. it obscures it for your listener because your listener doesn't necessarily know what criteria you're using. your listener may pick or choose criteria the listener would use. may not be the same criteria you would use. or your listener may dismiss you as someone who clearly doesn't know what he or she, you, he, you're talking about because you're calling someone who is clearly not a fascist a fascist. so it obscures what the real point of critique is when you get uncivil. the other thing it does that i think is very dangerous is it triggers neuropsychological responses that often create a cycle. so, when i get really angry is what will trigger you
into responding with stress hormones, flooding your brain. you're less likely to use your prefrontal cortex which allows for integrated thinking. so you respond in a way that then triggers the same response back in me. this goes back and forth. you also have, neurons, i'm not a expert in neuroscience, but in my work we encountered this but really something neurologically itself creates responses and counter responses that do not make for the most complex thinking or for the most wise decision-making, the kinds of conversations that would be learning conversations. >> that's interesting. thank you very much. i want to bring in jennifer lindy, senior lecturer, far right, my right. senior lecturer at the hugh downs school of human communication in arizona
state university. art director of the empty space theater and associate director on initiative on innovative inquiry. particularly relevant to our discussion, she participated in the design development of civil dialogue at asu, originally designed by john jenette who i believe is in our audience tonight. it is a very formal format of civil communication. allows participants to discuss topics and performance study classes and you've been facilitating these kind of events since 2004 both public and in the classroom and i, you know, i wonder if you could, first explain this to me. it is, your scholar performance, i mean is this, i mean civility is a performance. we're asking people to act a little bit here. so, i mean, is that, i mean, what's the nature of that? is that all this is? is this just about blocking and smiling when someone
yells at you? >> well it doesn't hurt i guess but i would be cautious to say that civility is a performance because i think it gets at the idea that civility can't just be about manners. the way that we work with civility, in civil dialogue is intended to generate knowledge, to produce something. so we feel that the point of civilty, outcome is, we not knisley compromising but what will we come away with this. . .
controversy topics and the volunteers that sit in this circle speak from their own experiences, their own feelings, their own emotions, but because the format we are asking for civility and calling for stability and because people have such different positions that becomes really interesting. >> so, just iacp if you in the audience if the five of us were the actors who in this and you were whenever the proposition was, you would very much agree with and we disagree and she was
somewhere in the middle, you know why and then there would be the room the volunteers who were falling something of a script, following several the principles and structured conversation? >> we have rules of civility that we described the audience so all of us would be an audience of dialogue and we would volunteer to take a chair so we encourage passion, because if you want to sit in nature that strongly disagrees with this provocative statement, you're going to be called upon to talk about that. but in the dialogue has a format where we invite the audience to eventually become a part of the conversation, and so nobody is left out and everybody is performing. and at some played it may be that a lot of the dialogue has really generated support for this side, but in the audience comes in and it balances out. but what is interesting about the chair is we have had people say at the end they come back to being able to state where their position is at the end of the dialogue and they say i think
i'm over here. i think i understand. i have an opinion. so, it is generative and that people find out things about what they think as they are participating in the dialogue. >> did you find that just the particulars of how you stage a thing can change the conversation? i think i read you the audience -- is the audience in a semicircle easily? >> the audience would be in a circle so you would be a little flat for my taste right now. a little flat, yeah. so the audience circles around command of them is very important that the five of us be looking at one another, and against that -- >> why? >> again is about performance. how we understand through speech, civil dialogue is how the communication department. we believe as we speak we come to know, and then as we look our bodies in proximity to one another make us more responsible for what we say. i'm going to look into your eyes, and we encourage people to not engage in fake listening just thinking about what i want
to say next but to look at you and listen, and for the eight years that we've done these dialogues people have come away saying, you know, i've not changed what i think, by a understand what you think and that's a huge. >> i apologize for not rearranging my chairs. [laughter] but my zocalo seems on civil to me. >> there was -- i found a study from a 5-year-old study from a researcher of the university of pennsylvania, where they showed they sorted staged different exchanges like a political exchange, and in one version of the exchange there were several, savoy and the other was on civil and they showed it to people from different camera angles and if you had a close-up of the person being on civil, the people watching this found their argument illegitimate but if you did it at a sort of much more
distant camera range, not so much of a problem. does that make sense to you? >> i'm sure non-verbally. if you are going to be next to me in expressing emotion or anger i'm going to feel it i think more strongly. remember, they're talking about physical bodies. it's important in the civil dialogue we choose small spaces and small birds because we feel that is more productive. we are going to sit in a very close area being able to see you and feel you in your a motion we have a dialogue about immigration where a young woman to undocumented was part of the dialogue and began to be very emotional. the entire audience members of the participants in the dialogue because they felt it so proximity is huge. >> actors who know this.
can we put them to work and reduce the output and teachings of a the? i will mix it up here among the group, and we start with cassandra but also feel free to jump in. in some of the more recent conversations about civility, certainly post the gabrielle giffords shooting of congressmen in tucson. they've gotten a civility partisan cast to the issue there's some of the research the academic research suggests very straightforward liberals are twice as likely to compromise solutions as conservatives to use outrage language more than liberals. >> it's interesting because when we started disability it was
hardly discussed at all, in fact people wondered why we were starting the institute. the last people saw it as a non-issue. then people were discussing there was quite a conversation on the hill, and in other places. it's only recently that we have started having this conversation about is it more this party, is it more that party, who is guilty, who is not, and it's been -- the last two years it's been very interesting to watch. from my experience there's plenty of guilt all over the place and i hear people on the left and the right and people in between, and i just say we all have a part of it, and so that's where i would leave it. but, there are surveys where -- the survey that just came out this year showed where republicans think that democrats
are more responsible for lack of civility. democrats think -- republicans are more responsible. it's so much easier to blame someone else. no matter what the problem as it is going to be their fault. so, that is part of -- i think that is part of what is going on but i think we are all a part of the problem. we are the solution to the >> you know, on this same question of partisanship and polarization, what's -- what do we know about what reverses polarization and civility and how do we reverse it? we just try to experiment in california we were going to do in the election system that in how worse people and the moderates and independents the lowest turnout over the potential rate through the state and only 6% of the independence showed up to use their new powers.
>> i think success has helped when people work together in a cd can work together to solve problems. i think we have to think about structural changes and some former government institutions, necessarily real big ones. like right now it is a shame to force a filibuster and actually go home. you don't have to stay in the pit of the senate and complain about of all let you are against and sort of do what you see in the old movies or somebody is filibustering a standing there reading stuff and staying up all night. you can go home and say look i'm not going to be there to vote for anything and therefore we are going to continue the filibuster. we should have a cost imposed on people that want to filibuster if you want to stop discussion and compromise there is a cost imposed and then all of us can watch on c-span at least some of us can watch on c-span, we can watch and see what folks are doing to try to make their case as to why the filibuster is a good idea. filibustering has increased by a factor of ten since the 60's.
we have about 100 filibusters' per session. >> somebody that actually counts of legislative violence in the history, 31 confrontations primarily on the floor of congress and 44 duals four challenges. we don't do that so much anymore >> there is no question there is violence in the world. there's a lot of data on this and less violence in our society has all but i think violence is a somewhat different kind of thing. we are talking about political stability and ability to compromise, and again i think you have errors like we have now where polarizing issues come along. they are very tough issues. i think the inequality is hurting and it is making for a distinction between the two parties that means each side has something to worry about that the republicans don't want to lose the tax breaks. the democrats don't want to lose the spending from government which is helpful to them and
therefore you have tremendous polarization over those kind of issues and then of course there's the social issues i mentioned before. so those kind of things cause a failure to be able to be civil to one another and to have compromised. >> here's a question though in and the answer to that. civility is a concept of eletes. our founding fathers saw themselves as civil people and george washington rode his 110 rules and that can be -- civility can be a tool and a weapon to save these people with their new ideas and ways of talking are out of bounds. i remember from nomani joost wrappers talking of inner-city problems and violence before the rest of the world that they were response not to respond to the problem but response to try to put ratings on rappers. how do you have instability that
sort of leaves room for the person who doesn't have this sort of elite division of civility to contributed to the conversation? >> i think it is a huge question. i think it is a huge question and one that we face when we use dialogue and there are critiques of dialogue as a process that pacifies so to speak. similarly, the idea of civility can be one that silences, particularly if you understand civility in a particular cultural format, so some of the means speaking as we do right now in moderate voices and full sentences waiting until the other person finishes, not interrupting we are going to silence a lot of people, so i think if we don't want to have that silencing the understanding the need to understand and need to be looked at more closely and
cultural formats and cross-cultural formats and what does civility mean across those and not simply cross-cultural where it is say in european american and a tribal community sitting together. but also, the cultural formats where very often what we think of as homogenous say middle class educated american republican and democrat. there is a lot of cultural difference and a lot of language difference. but because on the surface it looks a similar with a lot of false friends so to speak when you get together and there again the call for stability is tricky and risks avoidance so i think it is a very important question. it's been out what is the answer if you're going to be in civil you should have a really big and
important point to make? >> if you're going to be on civil, no pity the poor still calling the person on civil. i think -- >> to call people who are protestors for example possible. , you have signs, you complain, you may be made malaise, but that's not necessarily incivility at all. that's the right to assemble. that's in the constitution. >> argument is not in civility. i grew up in a country where we argued a lot, and for many americans -- americans have tended -- people have grown up here and often said americans are the most argumentative. well, you haven't seen south asia. [laughter] >> but, but, many of these arguments are not -- well, they
may even sound and civil. there are ad hominem attacks and yet there is a real engagement, and i think part of what -- you use the word sort, you use a reference to the political parties, but i think there's also been a cultural sort that is following the political sword coming and people are not used to talking across the differences. i think that you referred to that, henry. so, the argument doesn't necessarily have to become on civil with a capital u anacapa c come something like that. but, so yeah. the rule is that you look at whether that conversation is working for the purpose of the conversation. i think that would probably be my rule of thumb. we need to think about where are the purposes of the conversation as the mcginn the recovery newspaper reporter when i was a news reporter for the public's ability, it was so gosh darn boring most of the time, right?
said, jennifer, you are the dramatist -- >> right. >> into the body is often used. how do you make civility interesting? >> i think civility is very interesting. i think it gets at the idea we often don't ask people to come into a space and talk when they do not agree. right? so, we need more ways for people, so we talked about will we ever have our politicians and our two-party system able to speak to one another? that is less the issue and more the issue what can we get people agreeing that it is fruitful to talk when we don't agree with one another and it is very dramatic because like i said, bodies in a space looking and talking and feeling can be very powerful for people to experience both as an audience and as a participant and when we do that i think it is very dramatic actually. >> a question for all, but we have a limited time and want to go to questions, so this is a
lightning round. feel free to jump in. this is a free society, but we have all kinds of sanctions and rules that controls speech even in public forums, and we have a long history. there's blasphemy about libel and defamation and finding threats and words that inside lawlessness you can't be publicly nude in most places. there's broadcast indecency, rules against certain kinds of pornography. what rules don't we have? you've got to be caving court, too. what rules to we need that are not covered by these existing structures? is their anything? >> i don't know that it is a rule but as a kid i looked all over the country and i met all sorts of different people, and it has left me to and enduring interest in why people are different, and i wish we all have a little more interest in why does that person have that
opinions are different than mine. to my trip to understand how they got to that? because usually there's an interesting story. people aren't stupid, people don't have opinions for no reasons. they have great reasons for what they do. anyone else on this question? is there a regime or a rule of regulation that we don't have? >> i would say we'll have more rules, we need more skill. i think we need to learn how it is that you sit down and find out what they believe the things we do and how to really listen. i don't think the rules are what we need. it's the heart and the skills and the practice and the opportunities. >> showed the rule be curricular. should that the state mandated curriculum? >> well, there are more and more schools that are developing some of the programs, and looking at this as a part of their mandate that they need to help surgeons learned to responsibilities not just by knowing the form of
government, but by knowing how to interact with one another in a civil way. i am seeing that all over the country. >> i was going to agree that i don't think the answer is rules, and i do think the answer is engaging. i think we need to be engaging for and there is a young man here from the organization called rebellious truths that recently had a festival where they brought together young people across the spectrum, and they had people talking to occupied people, talking to key party people and this is amazing. it's been started by a 25 year road with two different positions but they are doing this and people are coming together to have those conversations to practice of law that what it means to talk across the differences, and then not as easily agree or compromise. but, to learn. to be curious.
so, i think the rules, no. >> the meet somebody completely different than you are. it could be interesting. >> and if you disagree with them it's even better. [laughter] >> i think that we have -- we are starting a certificate in some communications as part of our department and the other thing i wanted to mention is that my colleague to the organization class and he had a student sent him a letter recently that stated doing them in the course work he was better to able handle the disagreements he had in a women's studies class both with professor and of the people in the class and he said i realized in that moment i've come to understand people do not think as mi5 without having the type of unproductive response than they have had otherwise to the >> last question before we go to the audience questions. >> we want people from outside
of the elite concept of. how do we get to a balance? we have a way of thinking about the balance in the civil and the on civil? gregory that introduced me, my boss has been showing off a book. he's reading series philosophy in the office and there's a new book by jonathan called the right is lined where he has a concept of humans are -- humans are 90% chimp and 10% bs. they are the individualistic the one to do what they want to do and the bee is the is asea senator cooperative part of us and he's a sort of higher purpose and if you allow too much you get to use a word i shouldn't use not fascism, tom
utter and chezem, and what is the balance? how do you think about this sort of balance of civil norm but one that also allows room for outsiders? >> that is the functional dhaka see is is that a balance, and i don't think -- i am a little suspicious of trying to socially engineer at. by that i mean the rules of finding the exact balance in the recipe to get to that balance, but i do think that the work that jennifer is doing in the cassandra is doing and learning that conversations project is doing ads pieces and then people will figure out the balance so that would be my answer. >> thank you. is that we are now moving on to the questions portion of the evening. thank you so much for joining us this monday.
if you raise your hand and wait for us to come now we will take your question. c-span is your recording so you will appear on c-span sometime in the congressional recess. say your name into the microphone and jennifer has a first question in the rack. >> i was curious i'm not hearing much about the prevalence of on-line discourse and what that means stability in your work, so i was sitting in about the importance of the face-to-face contact, so i would be curious to hear your reactions to the >> when show was speaking i was thinking about if we needed rules. it's that anonymity that i think is troubling to many people because when you have all that space where you can be -- you can say what you want without somebody acknowledging who you are i think that's troubling. i think in a productive behavior in terms of learning what it means to be civil maybe we can
combat some of that. >> question over here. >> i'm from the league of women voters of california. i was very taken with your idea, and then it seemed to bounce off in a conversation with cheaper asian woman and occupied person. i am wondering if at least a good conclusion from that kind of work is not so much people change their linus that they begin to respect the other. >> a thing that what then happens is they are able to compromise because they know that it's not the end of the world if the other side gets their way and that is sometimes where we are forced these days with the notion that we are led to get something incredibly extreme if the other side wins. that's not true in america to visit me beecher someplace but not in this country.
>> question on your left. >> i find the politics in america boring next to i guess i like england, the house of commons. you've got both sides and one by jumps up and gives his fact and everybody behind him. then on the other side the opposition jumps up and they have their counter and think that the two parties were blanks so one guy couldn't slice the one on the other. but anyway, you said something about southeast asia, and i'm wondering if there's an international sort of cultural difference from one nation or are we all just centered on america. >> i think they definitely are international differences and i haven't really followed how the parliamentary is coming in india but a little bit i have heard and seen once in awhile it's not to replaceable the time but what
does make a difference it could be hit badly and sometimes they do and yes they actually give more than just the year, but and families and communities you live together again with people that you dramatically disagree with part of your extended family and part of your community you live with that, so even though the politicians are fighting, you can continue to have engagements the - well little less in the u.s. recently. i think people tend to hang on so that is sort of going back to an old plant. >> i want to follow-up on this question because you can see this on c-span, question time. the prime minister takes and the screen it's not civil conversations it's personal,
better, they are insults come in and do the ka ad hominem attacks but they're seems to be a sort of conflict and resolution issues get out. isn't that kind of what democracies are supposed to sort of the about? is civility a science in some ways clark's summit are like the fact message regions we have people that chile trying to focus by and large on problems and they are trying to come up with fact and information are the problems and often policy solutions so maybe the language gets a little inflated but they're talking about problems. i would love to see is attrition were made the president or delete went to congress and had that kind of interaction with members of congress on c-span. there would be very useful for america to see that kind of dialogue. >> in our dialogue we talk specifically with audiences about passion, passion being very important, but it doesn't mean that you demonize others. so i can feel passion and that
may be for many people like the idea that we don't limit how people express passion, but it doesn't mean that, you know, you don't get to be passionate as well. >> one of the things we do is bring together the members of congress one republican and one democrat to get your on the university campuses to discuss issues to discuss problems side-by-side, and they are able to do that with passion and with civility. and it is productive, and it's very interesting when it happens. >> question right over here in the front. >> my name is robert. i wonder if he might take a few, historical view after all our nation survived 225 -- to under 35 years. and we have had a civil war and actually we go back to the election f-18 hundred.
it was equally as better or more than perhaps what we are seeing today and yet we have survived all of this the pendulum and maybe this will swing back to it ischemic this car and jefferson for example physical adams the wind toothless hermaphrodite mall of which was true. [laughter] so we have had periods of tremendous instability and polarization in america. so, we are not in a period which is actually that polarized by the american standards. that's we get more civility to work together to solve a problem. >> this all this frustration that we can't talk to each other so we can't get anything done.
but my goodness when you go back and look at the purpose of the civil war in the united states we did some big things even when we were killing each other. the institution where you work is the product of decisions that lincoln made in the university of california in the transcontinental railroad. we were literally fighting to do things. what's different? >> i think somehow that is a good question. the institutions now are a little more complicated at times i do remember that during the civil war there was one party that controls everything so it wasn't hard to get legislation through. they were not there to cause any great trouble. that is one answer to the question. but i do think again that is a part of the institution that we
have. i wonder if in america we lost this thought that we can do anything and we have to find ways to say we can do anything and asking each other to pay a price when we do try to do something big. one of the things i think was a shame about george w. bush is when we went into iraq he didn't ask everybody to make sacrifice through the offer is simple tax hikes and also may be the draft when the lake was a bad idea. if you're going to have a war you should have devotee have a chance to be in the military. >> question on the left. >> the media as it pertains to post political careers you have people who seem to be lucrative to galvanizing and polarizing sarah palin, karl rove, these people are making substantial careers out of sort of not karl rove but flashing the pan political adherences. do you think that works against this movement of soviet least within our political leaders cox >> who wants to tackle that?
>> i didn't hear, just the very last part of the question. >> do you think the financial gains that seem to have been for the politically polarizing sort of under - the political leaders pushed was so devotee? >> i think that i was thinking when we were talking a minute ago about how it may not be that some devotee is performing the vince ability as a sort of quality because i think that we -- some of ours are drawn to that. i've been taught politeness but look what they are doing, and so we are kind of -- may be that lends itself to the incivility that happens as well because that is when we act out and something that maybe we kind of privately at meijer. islamic it's true that the delays on the cable channels like wrestling matches.
they just have that quality about them. islamic is there a connection between affluence and 70? if the most polarized people removing the furthest away in each party is your book documents it's the rich democrats, and the richest republicans and the most engaging and the most polarizing is this another problem of affluence obesity? >> i think there is a problem with money becoming so important in american politics because that means is when you are giving time to politics it's not money but time you are engaged and involved and have to sort of talk with people and go out and maybe try to recruit people in your point of view. when you just give money you give money to somebody and they are going to use it in a way to do the best they can to get elected and unfortunately that does lead to the other political operatives coming in and using the money to say maybe we will
live vilifying the opponent. so i would like to see politics less based on money and more based on the personal level for the politics. we have to encounter people one-on-one and on the door and talk with somebody. [applause] for those of you why are those rich people so nasty and why do they want to fund such nasty things, such nasty messages? how do we reach that? >> i don't know that it's all just of the wealthy that are being routed, but i would say that it does capture our attention when there is a performance as you say of incivility, and i think that works against us as a nation because so many people are turned off by yet they may see it, read by believe we are losing some of our best and brightest because they don't want to be involved in that sort of thing. they don't want to subject their family to that sort of thing so every time i find somebody that is willing to run for office, my first statement is thank you
because you're willing to put yourself out there in this mess that we've got him and i know that i am not willing to do that. i don't want to listen to that all the time. i've gone to public officials that i don't even know, but there for example the mayor of a town or something i've said thank you. i've had them break into tears because they said nobody ever says things you. what does that say about us? what is at stake is our ability to govern whether it is the local or state or national and we have to be willing to put ourselves out there. if i'm going to be called a name every other day i am not really interested. thank you could >> by the way young people are turned off by the style of politics and that is a column. >> we have time for three more quick questions we can move on to be a much of the relations smart voter.
as a counterpoint to this notion that people get attention and make a career out of the severity i'm wondering if any of you have been involved in the initiatives to address what joe was talking about, which is how you held media organizations mix of devotee more interesting. the sound bite nature of a lot of media we recognize it is a challenge, but it seems like because it is a challenge, it would help for their basic effort to think about how to do that. >> one of the things the public conversations project is doing is working with the elected officials. we are part of a training program where they get exposed to a number of different skills that they need as elected officials that one of the things is also how to engage across profound difference.
again, not unnecessarily agreeing, not necessarily coming up right away with a compromise but at least how to do it without necessarily falling into polarization. people are coming into public office often don't really have all the skills they need for public office, and it isn't because they are not accomplished people. they are very accomplished people, but not necessarily as public officials. and so, that -- one piece of that is how to negotiate how to dialogue and so on. so that is one of the things that we have been doing. >> question on your left to a >> elizabeth, a journalist. my question is if you come several months ago -- pretty much every state in the country had an occupied protest and some states particularly here in oakland and in new york became a little bit more aggressive than others. do you find that the ones like
let's say wisconsin or new orleans or standards as go because a little bit more subdued define it because the economics of the other cities that weren't more aggressive, lack of education where do you think the problem lies? >> that's a tough question. i'm not sure that i know the answer to that. i've done a study but sometimes it may just be that certain things went awry in one way or another and looked like a was much more contentious than a really was. so, i'm not sure that i even necessarily agree with the premise. >> i am thinking about how my colleague who is here who is the original architect of civil dialogue the idea was that it needed to be mobile, so we have a fairly contentious political
situation in arizona so there are protests for capital. is, we wanted to get there to the occupied movement and taken outside where you have people that disagree about something and investment in that this agreement, so i'm not sure about your premise as well but there are levels of passion in different cities have a lot to do with who those people are i guess. >> to follow-up on that there are so many barriers to reach powerful people, and even pos than a question. don't you have to sort of -- i notice in my profession when you cover politics there are more and more barriers between u.s. of reporter and to get a presidential candidate you've got to go screaming at questions, you got to chase them come play cat and mouse. it is not -- you can't do the
job, you've got to be obnoxious just to get a question to somebody. is there a problem if the barrier of the people are walled off you've got to kind of crime the barricade so they see you >> we have to continue to find ways so that everybody can have a chance to talk with public officials and public officials to engage everyday people. i worry again with more and more money in politics that the folks who most politicians talk to are in fact very well-off probably quit several people but not necessarily ordinary citizens not carpet salesman like my father. >> and i worry that as town hall meetings become more and more on civil and those that are elected feel threatened, and like the conversation as unproductive they are less likely to have those kind of opportunities for
citizens to come together and have a conversation. i agree we need to be able to come together and talk to one another not based on how much money and giving your what my title is the time a fellow citizen and this is of my concern. >> we are excited we have mohly dialogues at my theater on the campus, and we have had a state senator wonder in one day and he's become the biggest fan of civil dialogues and he brings in that voice, and i've often felt and we told him this we feel that is a very brave thing for him to do. he comes into that space and talks about bills that are not very popular in our legislation. our have the honor is about to start some you can join us across the hall in the regimental room and be civil to each other. our guests will be there. so you can ask them for their
questions. also i'd like to thank c-span for joining us to live and our presenter, this wouldn't be possible without them, cal humanities based here in san francisco. offices are on the streets of please, check them out online colin facebook, on tour, and now the last question. >> i think this is important and relevant the conversation i learned here stops because the compromise and the democracies are supposed to fix that the congress that works. the percentages to reach a compromise, but we had a problem
right now because the filibuster's. so democracy was plan to solve all of the problems, though c-span will hold out well, and will solve part of the problem, but right now i think the film posters that take place that will move to prepare because you have no choice like the war for the situations where you have no choice to have to reach a compromise. >> do you want to respond to that? >> you were calling for rule that would make the filibuster more costly.
>> i think it would be a key to this committee have a bunch of fools like that. another set of things, right now it's very hard for the presidential administration to get their appointees appointed. the congress just basically waits and waits and it doesn't hold hearings and then never gets to appointing somebody. we have to have a mechanism say the president appoints somebody in 60 days the person gets the job for mechanisms would be good ones in congress and other governments in the united states. >> anyone else on that connection and governance and thus the devotee? only the citizens get together and ask for stability they will get what they asked for and that is what it is going to take. >> not all rich people are uncivil. [laughter]
>> that's good to know. >> the other people it's just the very rich people that gets to henry's point have the most impact and can control the airwaves the most. >> rich people or people, too and on that note, thank you very much and please join me in her thinking the panel -- thanking the panel. [applause] >> thank you so much. we will see you across the hall to the islamic republican national convention workers loading up balloons for the balloon drop during next week's convention. this is the tampa bay times forum, normally used for basketball and hockey games. next week and expected 50,000 people will be there for the convention. the rnc says it is the single largest media event in the world except for the olympic games. click on the c-span convention hall to watch more video like this. you can create and share clips
from the live gavel-to-gavel coverage from both republican and democratic conventions and add your comments, watch, discuss, share and connect with other viewers at c-span.org/campaign2012. fourth score in seven years later, abraham lincoln called upon the people of all of america to renew their dedication and their commitment to the government of, for and by the people. isn't it once again time to renew our freedom? to pledge to each other -- [applause] to pledge to each other all that gives meaning to them for the sake of our beloved and blessed land together let us make this a new beginning to care for the
needy, to teach our children is the virtues handed down to us by our families, to have the courage to defend those values and the willingness to sacrifice for them. let us pledge to restore in our time the american spirit of voluntary service of cooperation , of the initiative, the spirit that flows like a deep and muddy river to the nation. as your nominee had pledged to you to restore to the federal government the capacity to do the people's work without dominating their lives. >> ronald riggins's 1980 speech is just one of the speeches from has republican conventions we will show you on saturday. the lineup now a look at domestic
terrorism. a panel on land security and law enforcement officials talk about recent cases and how intelligence agencies and law enforcement responded. you will hear from deputy fbi director john joyce as was former fbi and cia director william webster. this panel from the annual aspen institute security forum runs an hour. >> good morning every day. >> good morning every day. i am david eller president of the robert r. mccormick foundation based in chicago, and i have the great privilege of introducing this amazing panel that is going to be discussing law enforcement agencies at all different levels and the work they do to keep our country safe. and what an amazing panel it is. i will be beginning from left to right brad brekke is vice president of asset protection
for target corporation and he heads a team of thousands of professionals to subject all the people and customers and assets and national business and the business reputations at target globally. next part johnson is the root of the international association of the chief of police. he has 21,000 of losses and members in that capacity and over 100 countries. he also served as the principal deputy to under psychiatry for intelligence and analysis of the department of homeland security and the director of homeland security law enforcement in the office of the director of national intelligence. sean joyce was newly named recently devotee director of the fbi with oversight of all of the fbi's operations prior to this role sean oversaw the fpi's counterterrorism, counterintelligence weapons of mass destruction and all other intelligence programs. next come timothy williams is
the director of interpol washington and that capacity represents the attorney-general in the united states and all interpol related activities. prior to this, he served as the chief of technical operations for the u.s. marshals service, where among other things, she oversaw all of the nationwide air surveillance operations, and the honorable william webster, who is a former judge and the court of appeals for the eighth circuit former director of the fbi, former director of the cia, making him the only american who served as having both of those agencies and is currently the chairman of the homeland security advisor counsel for the department of homeland security. our moderator is dina temple-raston, most of you know is a former white house correspondent with bloomberg news and work on the counterterrorism correspondent for npr. we all have the prone to leave
the pleasure of hearing her on the radio and in addition to that she is an award winning author of several great books that i would recommend. so, dina, let me turn it over to you. >> thanking very much and for coming here this morning. what we are going to do is -- what is unusual about this panel is it offers a spectrum of the people that get involved in particular terrorism cases. as a, when i am tracking a terrorism case, very often have trouble figuring out where they are in the sort of process of investigating the case, and this is a rare opportunity where we can get an idea of what is going on step-by-step by step. not every terrorism cases the same this will give you an idea. so, we thought the best way to do this would be to use some very specific examples, and in some cases people might not have been involved in that specific example but they can give us a pretty good hypothetical idea of what they would have done in a
particular case has many of you know of the new york subway case? at the ideas festival no hands would have gone up. that is the difference between here and there. let me give you a tiny little synopsis of the case so that he will understand what it is that we are talking about. this case happened back in 2009 it was the most serious case against the united states since 9/11 and the reason was that she was an afghan native that used to have one of those coffee carts in new york city and went to afghanistan and pakistan and basically wanted to fight with the telegram but instead ended up getting recruited by al qaeda because he had a clean passport and he was recruited for this bombing campaign. what makes him really different
from all these other people that you talked about is he actually could build a viable bomb. in other words, he tested one in denver and he was able to make the detonator, and the detonator apparently -- i've never made a bomb, but i've studied them a lot -- is the hardest thing to do, and he was able to make something was viable. so, the way he made this bomb was with hair dye to reduce oakley boiling it down to a particular ratio coming and he went to a big sort of a hair salon outlet in denver and boston massive amounts of peroxide and hair dye. massive amounts, so much that even the guy that was at the counter said wow, what are you doing with all this hair dye? so for the purpose of our panel, having set that up, let's assume that zijibullah zazi is a thrifty guy and instead of going to this out what he went to target's and bought a lot of hair dye. [laughter] and let's assume for our
argument that a clerk at target said well, that is an awful lot of hair dye and reported it. then what would happen? >> diana come thanking. since i'm in the private sector representatives here today representing fortune 500 company, corporate security department we actually do a lot with law enforcement. we have a devotees with our own corporations. a lot of partnerships, and i did this case is a good illustration of how it can come to pass. if he had come to target we would have offered him a place a red card to get 5% of his purchases. [laughter] >> in all seriousness because we do have a working relationship with a lot of law enforcement community's either local or national levels and target is actually in marked over the last
ten years on a program where we purposely developed this these relationships enable us to become aware of information they might need to have feedback on it might find out from a fusion center. at the headquarters or out in the field we would begin surveying data because we attract transactional data and can track inventory data and pull video from around the country both inside the store and outside, and we actually can go out to the pierce, other retailers and ask them if they have seen such behavior, too if we trust the wire we can pick up the phone and call the law enforcement. >> would you call them local law enforcement or call the fbi? >> it just depends on the situation and what we are being
asked to do and with the request is. it can go multiple ways. again, the dhs, the fbi most often than not it is on a local level. >> so they call the local police, which seeing as how you now work for all of the police chiefs the phone call comes into the local police and let me just say there's also another little aspect let's start with fat. then what happens? >> sure. you know, fortunately there's 18,000 loren for said agencies in the country. about 750 law enforcement officers and target, as brad mentioned, they have an excellent working relationship with target and many other organizations and companies in the country. law enforcement is part of the security enterprise, the national intelligence enterprise. call leyba you want. they know the communities. they know when things are a mess, when criminal activity is
afoot. so, if they got that call from a target store employee, they would be armed with information. they would have been socialized to what counterterrorism is about the acquisition of the material, and that hydrogen peroxide is a part of that material. as, under that set of circumstances, i am quite confident one of two things will occur. number one, they would have called the fusion center directly, or they would have called the jtf and i would defer to mr. joyce to be drawn out. if a bit of fun to the fusion center route they would have called the fusion center, and once again because of the efforts of the ina, the intelligence of analysis from the fbi, the of the connectivity with the classified and unclassified level to receive the documents to receive the products that emanate possibly from the intelligence community overseas about how these devices are made, with the components are that go into them.
so they also would be informed as it relates to what to look for. succumb a good analyst at the colorado fusion center here would know that that could be terrorist related, and they will in fact notify the jttf. it's happened in the past three years. unfortunately there's been a big uptick in the domestic base incidents, so that relationship is very, very good. but it doesn't stop there. it goes through ina to the intelligence community and the only people not sitting on this side is the cia and the intelligence community to get it up to them and converse field of information passes down so that is basically what would happen. the relationship had the passing of that information to the jttf for investigations. >> okay, so the police chief of denver is a little worried about what he's heard from target and what she calls the local jttf or
the head of the field office in denver and says i have this problem, then what happens? >> first mcgeorge to tell director miller i don't have a white shirt on. he's a big fan of the fbi can dress down occasionally to this gimmick it looks like from here. >> thanks. we do love things and people have to remember we are just like you out there. we are trying to balance the civil rights and civil liberties and what we do each will be the least intrusiveness test that we use, depending upon what that ret is if you're just talking about someone coming in and purchasing hydrogen peroxide, then the certain activities that we do in checking by government data bases, checking open source, checking nci to see what they have a prior record, seeing if their numbers are affiliated with anyone else who may have an open investigation, also giving obviously checks with the other
here's something you told me about the four we had this recession. that was that interpol has not -- which i thought was. i knew you couldn't arrest people but i thought -- could you explain a little better what interpol is? >> thank you, dina. i think there's a lot of confusion. it's 190 members country. it's made up of the national police agency. the u.s. is a bit more complicated. 18,000 police agencies so we are the task force. it's very important. a lot of this forum has been on the classified side, how the information is shared better between the fbi and military and cia. but i remember charlie saying
this many times. the real intelligence gatherers are the cops on the streets, people that are making the arrests every day that are going to slip that individual into cooperating case until the fbi and others are on their case to i think of some -- people that believe that sharing information, working together, are very supportive of interpol. it's aware to share unclassified information, biometrics, quickly. in a quick way that back when a lot of people in this room, it was that way when we were investigators, when we were younger. a lot of things were done by facts, mail. technology is i think made interpol more relevant. the documents are very important.
the database is unbelievable success for in partnership with dhs and state department, checking people coming to this country. >> [inaudible] >> if the fbi wanted them. >> he wouldn't have in that case because, not to knock thames role, but unless an arrest warrant is recognized by interpol members. there's other mechanisms. but he specifically, as you know we were tipped off by a member of the icy. he wouldn't have been in the database. >> i'm not sure that you want to prefer the stop at the way they basically found -- the interception of e-mail. we didn't have target -- [inaudible] so we skipped it. so what was very interesting is
he created an explosive from this hair dye. he put in the back of a rental car and he drove across country from denver to new york. the fbi come my understanding is can be careful because i don't know how much you want to say, was concerned he decided not to fly. so maybe there's something in the car with him. my understanding was that on this cross-country journey, he got pulled over several times by police and given tickets for driving too fast. at this is again, if the people who pulled him over, if they know why he was being pulled over? >> it's my understanding that he was intentionally pulled over to collect information in cooperation with the fbi. but the important thing is that if it was a happen jens pulver and yes, he was speeding, that those troopers are well informed as relates to sing a wire, a
clock when. and once again i'm quite confident that they are willing from two to coordinate the information to the fusion center, to the reporting initiative. >> let's say hypothetically that they didn't know and we weren't behind actually stopping them. a mechanism that exists, as soon as a case is developed that person goes into ncic come into the known and suspected terrorist file. so any police officer out there is going to know when they stop the individual he is identified that there's some business with the fbi. >> i think the fact they stopped in a couple times on way and gave him a couple of tickets, that's one of my favorite parts. i'm out of new york. maybe another aspect you can answer, and that is so he had
this explosive in a suitcase in the trunk of his car. and he is pulled over by law enforcement, unclear if he was nypd or port authority. they search his car and they miss the explosives. how did that happen? [laughter] >> they are all looking at me. [laughter] >> do know what i think him in all of these cases, we are all organizations of human beings. so they knew, and they made the stop and they didn't find. there a couple of other bombs. there were bombs in every case. that's kind of the world we live in. mistakes are made. they knew and they did their best, but he also had it -- [inaudible] i also think in fairness to the police officers, that they're not trying to make it obvious. and that was some of the direction that was given. so it was later found as you
know. and in this type of case, as we're talking before, it was very fast and bigger talk about when we initially found out, which is around september 6 or 7th, it was his rest that ended up being on the 18th. so you can imagine very quickly in the number of techniques. and one of the things i would be remiss if i didn't mention, is how the guy has changed. and really director mueller, john pistole and others have really transformed the agency. when we look in -- were looking at it has intelligence collection. is not to put them in jail. it is we want to find out everything we can about them. who is he connected with, who are his facilitators, what's he trying to do? it's all about the intelligence. at the same time, okay, worked with the part of justice, lisa bakker from national security
division, they are with us from day zero. we want to preserve the ability to disrupt him, possibly prosecute him, put them into. so we have a lot of different tools but that is the biggest thing. i think people don't recognize, it really created intelligence groups and all for offices, it's about being intelligence and threat-based. and i think we been extreme successful doing that. >> if i may, being and law enforcement for close to 32 years, you do miss things unfortunately. but the system worked here in this case. not only did that information in records be get into the hands of jim davis, here in denver, and then shared with chief dan folks, and we all know from our roar with the recent tragedy but also commissioner kelly. i saw commissioner kelly here earlier today. and relationships. that would not have happened on september 11, i'm sight, 20 --
september 10, 2001. information is passed. people are not panicking. there's a process and everything, a lot of stress, a lot of process. >> i wasn't focusing on that. and i saved the best for last. this is a nice way to sort of go to and talk about the coordination. you been involved at the fbi, the cia for a long time. you heard the story. can you talk a little bit about how this is all working together? >> most of the time it works very, very well. occasionally it doesn't, and that is when we hear the call failure of imagination. in today's world that's what people are doing is looking out in advance. john pistole talked about, for not projecting, projecting what could happen and what we do about it, would we recognize it. we used to hear people on very good investigation sake you've got a lucky break.
you say yes, we got a lucky break but it's what we did with that lucky break that matter. and i think in today's world of technological advances we are still behind the curve somewhat because sometimes our systems don't follow up in the way that we would like them too. but we are working on it and that's important, too. >> okay. the way that i knew that this was a very serious case was the tightness in everybody's voice when us asking questions about it. whether they were in the intelligence community or in the fbi, you could just tell that this was a serious case. and it was fast-moving and i think that's the reason you can tell it was such a serious case. so i want to move on just little bit and talk about a domestic case answered go down the line again and talk all about how it would be different. there's a young man who was at
texas tech, and he came to united states, a saudi, kinkiness states under a student visa. and against us at the end of the last month he was found guilty of trying to produce weapons of mass destruction. they found chemicals and precursors and things in his apartment near, where was got some boondocks town in texas. i camera what was. lubbock. someone and a lot of just said that -- >> be careful, dina. [laughter] >> i love jasper. i love, love it. let's see if i can recover from that one. [laughter] >> i'm not answering any more questions. >> anyway, so he pays was going to build a bomb. and one of the targets that you thought about was president
bush's home. and this was done in a very accident away. and much more accidentally i think andy naji puzo lobby case. that was here that these chemicals shipped to his apartment were or their supposed be shipped to his apartment. fedex dropped them off at the local care. the local carrier happen to look at the address and solve all these chemicals were going to residents. and the local carrier had a rule that it would not ship these things to raises the bigger r&b to a business or a school. so this is again an example of the private sector really sort of stepping into i do know if what to talk about that and don't go down the line. >> just briefly. the overall fact, it would be the same for the private sector. but i think with homegrown that are more depend on -- you're not going to trip communications, not going to be brought into play. people are not traveling
overseas. all these other checkpoints are not happening. you do have to rely on private sector stepping out, you describe as an accident. i actually look at it as says in stepping forward doing their duty, seeing suspicious behavior and reporting it to the right people. >> and so, the chemical company i guess what call local police? not the chemical country, the shipping company would call local police? >> possibly, or the jttf. and once again the missing piece he would be the intelligence community. once again, the intelligence community i believe plays a great role in -- informed on tactics, techniques and procedures whether it's domestic base or foreign-based. so for law enforcement it wouldn't have any difficulty at all. but it would get the receipt, the suspicious activity reporting, whether from target or a shipper, go to local law enforcement both local law enforcement will be informed and to notify the fusion center. the one thing i didn't mention
before is the value added with the fusion center has as it relates to the information set, whether or not it's a blogger, eight targets of narcotics, many wondering -- objects. deconflict and pickups are, what that is when there's an active investigation against a target that our systems out there that if you put the individual's name it will identify hey, that person is already under investigation by another agency. just think about what a local officer or trooper encounters each and every day. whether it's a domestic or the axis, the opportunity they have to redo that. so that's an important as relates to the value added, coming out of the fusion center. and you use the word lock. in my career, as abbas people would say gee, i'm really lucky. no, you weren't lucky. it space on your train tickets
based on being out there not sitting in the barracks. after stopping cars excel like has nothing to do about. once again it's the system. that shipping company having a process in place know something is amiss or the general public saying something is not right. that bag has been there much too long and knowing to call the local law enforcement and the local law enforcement knowing to call the jttf. sometimes these things don't go down to the terrorist threat. it could be a lot of those chemicals are also used for the manufacture of narcotics. so once again that in turn helps out the dea, so those relationships, so that when benefiting ct. it's benefiting general crime in this era of declining resources. >> let me just skip -- >> let me add. there were two companies involved. it was the carolina biological supply that contacted us in
greensboro north, but then there was conway trucking and lubbock trucking that contacted the trenton police department. in addition to the, i think -- >> so he was already on the radar screen? >> they both had him within a day of each other. but in addition to that we were also tipped off from another foreign agency. so we would talk about these layers, that's what works. we talk about what general alexander and his folks are doing, general petraeus and his folks, there's one player. didn't have what dhs is doing on the borders. and really heartening the target. that another layer, and then the bureau with the jttf which is really a collection of all of us, on that into your handle of the. >> and if his other agency that helped you, would have shut up on interpol or he would have not because there wouldn't have been a ward? >> it depends if that agency had contacted interpol.
think that they speak with you got to stay most of those countries in the interpol system don't have classified systems. they don't have a complex communications systems we do. so the only way they can communicate is through interpol sometimes, or attaché in the country. they would do that spent its the fbi officer who was assigned to the embassy, legal attaché. go ahead. >> we would coordinate that with the league add and the fbi. u.s. operation for him to pull this him to pull this eighth edition. one of them is a catechism division run by an fbi senior chief. so we had that connection so if those kind of these come in and its close cordish with the counterterrorism division. >> so when you hear these three, these two case studies and judy out everybody is working together, how different is this an fbi that you are running? >> well, it wasn't that different, but i heard some
remarks last night that i thought i would address because i understand where they're coming from. there was a time when it was thought the fbi was all taken no give. but talking back to when i came in for the fbi in 1978, the ex-agents is that he was having its convention and they wanted to do something for the fbi besides the fidelity integrity statute as they had donated in the courtyard, the fbi headquarters. and they had a quotation. they want to put a quotation on the wall from j. edgar hoover. they asked me to select one. and the quote, quotation trend pretty heavily on law and order and defensive type, defensive type of comments. the one i selected became truly i think the spirit of the fbi. that it's if you ever go to the
up and cory george will see in large letters engraved on the side a quotation that says, the key to effective law enforcement is cooperation, at all levels of government, and with the support and understanding of the american people. now i think that's the direction in which we're going. after 9/11, the problem of need to know shifted to need to share. and i think that the fbi got into that spirit, as it became an effective, not only law enforcement, but an effective intelligence gathering operation. and the reason some of this is important, we talk about first responders, the law enforcement agency state and local are asked to be there when the problem arise to they are apt to be there when the first explosion occurs. but more than that if there engaged in community organized policing, i hope most of them are these days, the chances are that the public will be as
equally responsive and identifying suspicious activities. and they will do as we been encouraging to do. you've all seen the quotations "see something, say something." that's a very, very important to our welfare and her safety today. i think the american people are responding. so through these commendations of relationship with the american people, and with the local law enforcement to the issues and the sharing of experience and the ability to transmit that information, not only accurately but quickly and probably out in the field where it can be of value is one of the most remarkable changes that i've seen in the last 30 years. >> does anybody have anything to add to that? >> to recognize judge webster, i came into the fbi under judge in 1986. so it is an honor to be a. within. i will say, i'm often asked why is -- i think it echoes your
remarks, sir, citizens of this country we have a duty. we might have different skill sets or expertise, but we have the same mission, to protect this country. and i think the simple way i look at it is, and perhaps the way i was raised, if i'm walking to my house and my neighbors house is on fire, i don't just keep walking because i'm not a fireman. i do something. and i think that's what the private sector can be part of that do something also, whether its citizens or businesses. that we have to look at domestic partner in this as a force multiplier. i go back to 9/11, i was in minneapolis when that occurred. we are in disarray like most of us in this room. but what i find most fascinating
is, that morning flight 93, the first group to act against of those that were acting against us were citizens. and i think we have to keep that in the forefront of all things we do, whether it's in business sector, private citizen. it's just part of what makes this country what it is. >> and acted only hours after it first happened. >> acted in flight. they got intelligence as they did it. [applause] and they took down the bad guys. [applause] before the u.s. government knew what was going on. >> i almost want to end it there except there's one other thing i wanted to discuss, and if we can shift gears just a little bit. part of what we're supposed to do as a parent is talk about what more can be done to keep the homeland safe. and in particular, you know the threat is changing. we've heard a lot about why we been here. a new threat emanating from iraq
with al qaeda in iraq's leader actually saying he wanted to target the u.s., which is new. they're still a threat with a cute baby in yemen. so if we could just go down the line quickly before we take question, can we talk will be about what you think and we done to keep the homeland safe as the threat is changing? >> i would say the private sector beyond law enforcement, tie it around tripwires or sharing information, which needs to mature. we're doing it. i think what the private sector is brought to the table post 9/11 is resilience. we actually have done much to deal with what can we do as a business to protect our people, to recover the business, to help our communities. just earlier this week my team was with fema nearby here, colorado springs, looking at what else can we do in the public-private sector.
we do this run tornadoes or natural disasters, hurricanes. but it's the same impact with terrorists. so i think what often is missing from the public side is because that he was not on my watch. i fully support. our view is if it does happen, what do we do to get the country back up and running for a business up and running, or our community. and it's much along the lines of the british business as usual. in fact, that's the motto we study. i.r.a. terrorism. it was talked about yesterday. you get good at this when it starts to happen on a regular basis, but that is what i think the private sector is much, much better at today than it ever was. and it helps supplement government efforts. >> i think we are at a very critical part. over 10 years after september 11 as it relates to the economy. the economy is declining. there's been a significant amount of layout for local, state and tribal law enforcement. might agency when i was there to
have a high watermark of about 5000. they are at about 4300 right now. and you couple that with grants and how the grants are being cut dramatically. the it can be done at the expense of national security. all the strides in progress that have been made and, indeed, do not step back where we have been heading, we need to keep moving forward, strengthen the process. a lot of this is based on trust and personal relationships that have developed. and it needs to be institutionalized. and also if i may, there's a lot of high level folks are from the intelligence community and dod. i was kind of a high level guy with a state police but i didn't know what dod and the i sea did enjoy spent about foreign affairs within the intelligence community, and most recently within ina. i've got to do, i was thoroughly impressed. i was impressed about analyst, the young analyst with ina, the
amount of time and work and effort they put into it. and also conversely, i know that the ic and dod that recognize and appreciate what they have here domestically. and that needs to continue to grow, to be enhanced. once again it's not just ct. it's either and was happy with cyber. that's what's happened with the games and narcotics and the threat that you spoke about. and just keep that information coming and recognize that law enforcement is very mature. they know how to do things. they know how to investigate. they can be trusted. they have clearances. they now know how to store it. so trust that and build that trust. >> let me add one more wrinkle for you, sorry. which is you are trying to do something in an assignment of at least shrinking resources. so how do you protect the homeland better when that you have less resources? >> i think like all of my
counterparts, we look for efficiencies. we look for ways to do things better. we look for ways to do things differently. we look to leverage other agencies. the private sector more effectively and some of that. i think we are all living in a fascinating time. there's so many things going on around the world. and it does affect the united states. and we have to remember that. i think the threat has become much more diversified, much more difficult to detect. the cia and dod have done a phenomenal job, really decimating poor al qaeda. phenomenal, unbelievable. but the threat has really changed and evolves and especially for the homeland. i think it's becoming more difficult. which goes to really the next point which i really think the dni, jim clapper i think realizes the importance of the domestic intelligence
architecture. and i think for many years we have known that. indeed, has really taken an active role in that in seeking out how all these agencies fit together. he recently designated 12 of the fbi offices as dni domestically. but what i think that's part of the efficiency of talked about with shrinking resource. how do we all coordinate activities, and do them with less? it's hard that what do you think? >> just to echo everyone's comments, partnership is a crucial thing everybody talks about partnership. i want to go to judge. right after 9/11 i was in new york. cabin donovan called me, got together, a group of people to work on next agency. he wanted people and their to get things done quickly.
>> i worry that as we get -- we done a great job. we have come so far along in sharing information but i think, as we get farther away from 9/11, i don't want to get back because i believe, i don't want to get into any controversy but i believe that sometimes the system the way agencies have to compete for funds, especially when the resources are shrinking, it has a negative effect. it doesn't encourage sharing of information when we are trying to make the big case, not the interpol is ever going to. we're supporting everybody. but i think when agencies have to battle for resources, that makes it very difficult. and it will also affect on pulling off task force is like interpol or other things where they need to be. but because of resources they have to prioritize whether people are are going to go. that's my concern going forward is to get, when resource for the could affect that partnership that we develop the last 10
years. >> judge webster, would you think we need to go? >> of course what we need to as sean said, get better at all the things we're doing right. to anticipate what our problems may be and to have no more failures of imagination, at least we hope that we can anticipate it. the importance of having the support and understanding of the american people is i think something we do keep in our minds. but we have to work hard at it because in the country there something different than many of the country, some of them have harbored the kinds of people that are creating problems for us. and that is, we believe and that you will find that quotation in this conference center at fbi headquarters, that we must do the work that the american people expect of us in the way that the constitution demands of us. and sometimes that stuff. sean referred to least intrusive
means. we have a lot of things we could do that might theoretically produce an answer, create a confession, do something else to wage a war. but the important thing is that we behave in a way that earns the trust of the american people. and in the end is far more effective from law enforcement and intelligence principles that some of the other extreme measures that will take place in other countries. and that's the challenge that we face in the future is to not forget who we are and what we are, but to be better at what we are and what we do than anyone else in protecting and keeping save the people in this country. >> i was hoping we could open up for questions now. if you have a microphone. the gentleman here. >> first of all i want to thank all of you for your service and
wholeheartedly agree with the spirit of cooperation that you gentlemen are promoting it at the end of the day, no single agency, department, or jurisdiction has all the tools needed. but going forward, we have some great tools in place since 9/11. we track large sums of money that travel throughout the financial system. we track chemicals now better than we did before, how do we track 6000 rounds of ammunition purchased on the internet as we saw recently? >> i should have asked that question. [laughter] look at everybody looking at y you. >> there is no tracking. there is no national database of weaponry or bullets being purchased. and i'm not going to give an opinion because i will get in
trouble with those 18,000 chiefs in the country as it relates to where i fall out on. but suffice to say, at state level they do pretty good job as it relates to cataloging weapons and the purchasing of weapons and things of that nature. but once again, there is no national system and that's why i think, sean, you may want to comment on, or maybe you can't, other fire arms dealer, distributor so once again it's public. what is suspicious activity, what constitutes suspicious activity? i think it is now the time to say civil liberties and privacy and civil rights, law enforcement, they know all about that. they swear to it. they are held accountable to it. there's no notion of doing that, they're too busy, going from complaint to complaint to complaint. and if, in the very infinitesimal that somebody may,
there significant consequences to the. so law enforcement takes that very importantly. i'm sorry for digressing. i just wanted to get that out there. >> let me just add. your talk about policy issues which some of us don't want to comment on because of our positions, but it gets down to the internet and it gets down to what i think, and i wish i mentioned it before, is technology. we all grew up in a generation where the computer was sort of introduced to us in our some point of our lives. our kids, it started at the very beginning. we need to do a better job with technology. plain and simple. we have got to get better at doing that. that internet is out there, and it's good and it is evil. we have to be able to detect that. it's going to be through advanced technologies. >> i'll just say one thing on the international front. there is some weapons tracking
internationally. there's other policy reasons but internationally there are some on weapons that are used crimes overseas to track them spent judge webster, i don't mean to put you on the spot but do you have, you may be one of the few people who can express an opinion about this but do you think that there should be a way to track huge amounts of ammunition if it is purchased all at once? >> consistent with what i said before about the rights of american citizens, and others in our country, i think that the problem, we identify particularly in the nidal hasan fort hood massacre, and i can't discuss it because that's part of the redacted portions of the report, except to say that this capacity to gather data is huge, and massive. the problem is making sure that
it can be sorted, filed, and available, and disseminated in an effective way. >> and is seen in time. >> what? >> and seen in time. >> absolutely. they are working on that, but the more we collect, the more challenging issue of identifying something unusual and acting on its good for those of you don't know, judge webster just released a report looking at the fort hood shooting, and what the failures were that led to it. came out last week, is that right quick sketches actually quite question about that if i could, which is what was the most surprising thing in putting together that report to you that you can tell is? >> well, partly as, partly what i just said, but i think that the surprising thing to me was that the system that was designed with joint task force
in, and by bringing in agents from other departments who had responsibilities to guide and help, resulted in an inertia because there were two field offices with different views. one tracking a very bad guy in yemen, passing a lead to another field office with the discretion to do with what they wanted, about an american soldier, an officer, communicating with one of these very bad guys. and the inertia that occur because of differences about what to do about it. should he be interviewed or not interviewed? there were differences of opinion, and not a clear policy at that time. there is now. not a clear policy about how to resolve that disagreement. in a way that might have anticipated an opportunity to prevent or hand off a bad thing.
so that was a surprise to me because the joint task force system was supposed to enhance our capabilities and not create an inertia. but it was not the fault of the task force officer. he made mistakes, they are not the fault of the other individuals, but it was a lack of a clear, definitive policy that nature you could resolve the problem quickly. >> in other words, take it upstairs. >> right spent i would say that judge webster and his folks did a fantastic job on that report. i've read it several times. we made mistakes. there's no question about that. and what we try to do is learn from those mistakes. he made 18 recommendations. we're going to get better. so that's where we are on that.
>> i'm with nbc. a question in terms of the involving threats. official record last week saying that the bulgarian suicide bombing had all the hallmarks of hezbollah operation. question for mr. joyce. the fbi has been making cases against hezbollah networks and the united states four years. drug smuggling, money laundering. how concerned are you at the bureau right now that hezbollah operatives in the united states may be taken on expanded role going into lethal operations like this? and are you taking any steps to monitor its? >> yes and yes. without question, not only bulgaria but if you recall, the plot to kill the u.s.-saudi
ambassador, and that related to the irgc and obvious even we are proxy with iran and hezbollah. so i think speaking from open source and other things, there's definitely a change in the threat, without question. and we are looking at that and we're on top of it. >> there are two conflicting dialogues i see in the press right now. one is to see something do something, or see something, reported. and that the citizens are on the frontline. and we understand our neighborhoods best and, therefore, we can be good judges of what's unusual.
on the other hand, even though there's an increased concern for homeland radicalization, there seems to be an effort to make sure there's no bias and, therefore, to downplay homegrown radicalization. how do you balance those two? >> do you think you guys are downplaying radicalization? no, i don't think -- i would say it might be on the other side of that. >> i think there's a couple of things going on. i'm not sure what you understand or what you meant when you use the term bias. i think like administrator pistole mentioned we are much like a neighborhood watch, and everyone else, we are looking for behaviors that are not normal. so that's really what i think
we're looking at their customers homegrown extremism, i think everyone. is aware of the current threat that exists. matt olson and others, we meet on a monthly basis on combating violent extremism, related to the homeland. and what other ways, not just enforcement intelligence collection, but what are other ways, methods, techniques we can stop it before it even begins, before they go through the complete radicalization process and move into the mobilization but i think there's a lot being done on the bias side, i don't think there's bias. i think you out there as the general public are trying, when you notice something, you try to report it and it kind of goes to the appropriate level, whether it's the local police, sheriff or whomever may be responsible to cover that. >> i think what i'm referring to with the bias is that there is a
reluctant -- reluctance to identify the fact that there might be a religious ideology that serves as the basis for the radicalization. and in certain circles there seems to be a reluctance to identify the use of religion in the radicalization process. >> i would say it if you look over the centuries, that radicalization is not limited to, i think you're referring to islam, is not just islam. christianity has had its share of that extremist terrorists, whatever you want to call that. so we are in a country of freedom of religion. this is the greatest country in the world. it's those elements within a religion that adopt an ideology that is not really the religion. it's extremism. so there's no bias there.
anyone is doing ago i don't care what religion you're practicing, if you talk about killing and murdering people, we are going to get you. >> the best description i've heard of this is, it was like the towering all of christian before that sliver of people who target abortion doctors. this is a very, very, very small group. the muslim population. and i think that we tend to make sweeping generalizations about islam, and we really shouldn't. there's a lot of muslims who are horrified in this. >> and from a stove bashing state and local perspective is based on a criminal predicate. it's not your target a religion. you are targeting an individual he was reasonably suspicious or probable cause, reasonable, indicative of recent activity. then you take it where it goes. and after you complete about travel, there could be something that led to the person doing what they did it and i think that's a well grounded.
>> we have time for one last question. >> bernard to me, attorney. legal consultant and former air force b-52 crew member. question about major hasan. the gap seems to be, but there were problems within the fbi, but why didn't they involve the military? why didn't they alert the military to major hasan when they had, you know, clear communication with the sheik in yemen, and they kept it again. this is just reason to this was the problem of course with 9/11. i don't understand why they didn't alert the military. >> actually there was military. >> i can answer that question. the task force member who opposed going forward was from the military. >> he was a detailee from -- >> they had arguments it would
affect his career, using the least intrusive method. but, of course, there were methods by which entities and so forth, and interview could have occurred. but if the defense department was aware of him and was aware of those good reports and not so good reports about them. so there was no reluctance to let the defense department know about him. but there was an uncertainty about what you could do in an investigative way about a possible terrorist crime. >> let me just sum up. right after 9/11 one of big things the concert everybody is this stove piping where people were not talking to each other. what we've seen in these two cases we discuss, and messaging about it, while the main event apps will absolute perfect system, it's come a long way in 10 years. and if you can thank our terrific panel, that would be great a. [applause]
>> tonight o on on c-span give u some bashers to canada and the canadian ambassador to the u.s. discuss the relationship between the two countries. >> the former head of the british intelligence service delivers remarks on radical thinkers and how they are used in works of fiction. >> my brother, scott, last night call me up and said i watched i watched the debate on c-span. you degrade. you got your ass kicked by lee rice. [cheers and applause] >> lee right. where is lee?
what a gentleman. what a children. what a pleasure. what a delight it is bent to debate lee a dozen times. >> let's get this guy elected. [cheers and applause] >> lee wright, it's true, we made each other other candidates and i can't thank him enough. and like i said, no one, no one could've been more cordial. no one could've been more gracious. no one could've been more articulate regarding libertarian ideals and beliefs. >> literature and we'll show you more speeches from third party
candidates like libertarian nominee gary johnson. we'll show you remarks from the constitution party, green party and reform party conventions. if you're fortify third party candidate fisher, log onto our facebook page and let us know who and why. we will read some of your comments on the air tonight. >> we now take a look back at the iraq war with three former u.s. ambassadors to iraq from both the bush and obama administration. as was the first undersecretary of defense for intelligence. the panel from the recent aspen security forum is moderated by an associated press counterterrorism correspondent who was critically wounded in a car bomb attack in iraq in 2006. this runs an hour and 20 minutes. >> all right. needless to say, the long war in iraq has ended at an enormous cost in terms of lives and treasure and to take a look back at the iraq war, we've assembled a superb panel to reflect back
on it and to consider the application of the iraq war for american foreign policy and national security going forward. i can't think of a better moderator for this panel than the one we've selected, kim dozier. kim dozier is the associate press correspondent who covers intelligence and special operations, and she tracks the war on violent extremism. she covered national security for cbs news in washington from to thought and seven-2010. in a 14 year career overseas, she covered the middle east and europe for cbs news, as was the "washington post," the "san francisco chronicle," and the bbc. kim was wounded famously in a car bombing in iraq in 2006. her memoir called reading the fight, the fire, fighting to survive and get back to the fight, recounts her attack and her recovery. she is very gracefully donated the proceeds to charities like fisher house. please join me in welcoming this
panel, and in thanking kim dozier for moderating it. [applause] >> thank you, clark. it's an honor to be here. and it's also, i really appreciate the fact that everyone is that they estimate people have come back now in the middle of the afternoon. we have a great group of people here. three of whom were last minute additions, i'm bashers brimmer, and also the iraqi ambassador to the u.s. all had to drop out at the last minute. so i will introduce the panel. essentially in chronological order of involve, they have just pointed out, we have doctor stephen cambone at the foreign. he served on 2001-2006 in the department of defense. during that time he was twice nominated president bush and confirmed by the senate for senior positions. i used to this for a living. everyone can still hemming.
including at the first undersecretary of defense for intelligence. second, we have ambassador john negroponte. he's been ambassador to honduras, mexico, the philippines, the united nations and he was the first ambassador to iraq. is also the first director of national intelligence under president bush as you have seen and talked about on another panel. thank him for his second offense to we have ambassador chris hill, ambassador to iraq from 2009-2010, and earlier served as ambassador to korea and macedonia with special envoy to kosovo. he is now dean at the university of denver, school of international studies. finally, we have ambassador james jeffrey. he was ambassador in iraq until about three weeks ago. 2010 and to the gills when multiple tours serving as a senior advisor for iraq from '05-'06 with -- and then came
back again as deputy chief of mission from 2004-2005. so, now that i've got everyone establish i would like to set up the purpose of this panel as a chance to look back, ask tough questions from get some things on the record that you might not have heard before in our conversation over the past couple days i've heard some things that i had not heard before. it's also a chance to look at and ask how postwar iraq is playing a role from serving as a possible al qaeda safe haven, never existed before, to study and more positive example as a working democracy in a sea of conflicted areas. i'm going to kick off with about 15 minutes, we'll talk about the history, how we got into the war. and i want to start with some bullet points. things that would pretty much all agree we got wrong.
the intelligence, which was cited as one of the major reasons for invading. bringing in so few troops, which resulted in a great deal of unrest directly after the invasion. the postwar plan, which seemed to change every three to six months. that debaathification program and the dismantling of the iraqi army. which produces ready-made batch of trained officers who knew how to build bombs, and had nothing else to do with their time because they couldn't get jobs except go out and attack u.s. troops. and also why was the cia and u.s. military announces that an insurgency had started, ignored for so long back in washington? so, tough questions. going to start with dr. cambone. we were talking about intelligence.
the main reason we got into iraq and to what you think in retrospect about how we act it on the. >> well, i'm not sure everybody here knows who or what curveball means spent which is exactly why you are leading. >> he was a source that has as i recall, out of iraq, had been decreased sometime prior to the outbreak of the war. and he claimed to have firsthand knowledge of some wmd programs in iraq. there's a great deal of discussion about his debriefing. there are other people here in the audience who probably are more knowledgeable about the specific details of his debrief, but a short answer to question, no, i don't think it was the decision or the intelligence turned on curveball, who subsequently by the way was found a fabricator and this information was subsequently
proven to be false. i don't think it turned on the. i think it turned primarily on the preponderance of the evidence. it turned on the circumstances in which we found ourselves at the time, the extent to which proliferation was an ongoing concern. behavior of saddam hussein's regime at the time. it's forgotten that there was active military operation in both northern and southern iraq where they were constant provocations, the no-fly zone as a result of the first iraq war. the fact that since that war and its immediate aftermath, the first thing sustained it, weapons of mass destruction on his own people. there was a preponderance of evidence that led people to believe that it was regional to suppose that there was, in fact, weapons of mass destruction in that country. so i think curveball turned out to be sort of the guys on, at least everybody concludes that what we thought we knew was
probably right. >> was it a mistake? that's more difficult thing to say. the conclusion was mistaken. to draw the conclusion might not have been a mistake. because in the end, and again, there are enough friends here to understand, you only know what you at the agenda to fill in the rest. so was a reason not to draw the judgment at the time? i think the answer is based on what people, the judgment they do draw that yet, it probably was but in retrospect was it accurate? no spent i have a from a special operations team that came in ahead of the invasion force, dropped in at some of the sites, they thought they were dropping in on to a nuclear weapons site, and they found a sort of village situation in the air ducts that would really abducts but it look like a facility from the air.
was this a buyout campaign by saddam that was meant to scare the regional countries that went wrong? >> yeah, i don't know. i mean, charlie dole for did the second look at the program inside iraq, i think charlie drew the conclusion that they could've been a real program that he intended it to be a real program. he had the means of doing it, but they weren't there. now, that's one fact, some of you may remember the rock survey group. i was instrument and having that group put together in the belief that we would find in that country, weapons of mass destruction, scientists were engaged in those programs and the like. so we took it quite seriously. we sent people across the burma in their full gear expecting to engage. in chemical or biological weapons. so this wasn't the kind of
trumped up the notion that there were capabilities. there was a belief that there was. and we conducted ourselves accordingly. >> you were part of some of these discussions in the run up to the war. do you care to share any of those with a? >> i'd like to take a wider aperture. i don't think it was about, just about intelligence. i think that was part of the issue. interpretation of the intelligence. the fact that we have sensors really turned up in the wake of 9/11. we were listening to a lot of different things, so the question was how you interpret the things you were listening to. ..
time, and he was, saddam hussein was a person who arguably in the mood after mine -- 9/11. >> it also to cover attention off afghanistan and took a number of resources from it, and i certainly understand that argument and getting people that were involved in those decisions can talk about that but i think whether iraq was ever -- is always going to be called the iraq war as to the republic of iraq is going to depend on the future. what happens in iraq, how the policy goes forward, and right now we have a dicey situation today is the object of a great gain among the states that want to remove the sunni war and the iranians that want to keep it as the only shia arab state. this is really the issue. we jumped into rate, so we had a responsibility to stay engaged
and i don't think that involved the second lieutenants on the negotiations. so it's kind of up to the diplomats. >> before we get to that, let's get back to we decided to invade the number of troops that chose the plan. does the u.s. just cannot understand how to occupy? is it a knowledge that we lost? >> i would say first of all on the question of curveball intelligence failures it turned out to be a notorious mistake to cause the reform of the intelligence community. we talked about that yesterday. so why don't think anybody questions that that was a serious mistake. on the question of you take the invasion that is given and you have the issue of whether there was enough forces and they think this is fairly characteristic we get involved in some of these
conflicts. we are veterans of the vietnam conflict in one form or another, and there we have made a huge error of judgment in terms of how long it would take and i can remember the and pfizer is in vietnam before we have combat troops there answering a question from my deputy ambassador how many people would you need to clean up your province and one battalion in three weeks, nine years and to corrine and decisions later in that very same gives you some sense of how we subject ourselves to wishful thinking. i think that is what happened in iraq. there may have been errors in the way that we handle that and so forth, but when i got there in june of 2004, it was clear to me that the term we construction, and we had a 17 billion-dollar reconstruction fund was a misnomer and it was through electricity and
irrigation and what have you, and i had to recommend that we would reprogram several billion dollars for building the act by the iraqi police and military. one last point, and i see this pattern from vietnam through to iraq and afghanistan. we never in each of those cases early enough got committed to the idea of building local capacities. it always came to us and i think as a result hicks it cost us casualties and lives, and a prolonged the data we would be able to exit our own forces. >> just a thought on that. i don't agree with you, ambassador, at all. but in terms of how many troops were committed and how they were committed, there is a part of the story that is either not
well known or not will commented on, which is the plan to be called for another decision to come in through turkey into the north towards baghdad. that division did not come until much later. had it come earlier 173rd wouldn't have been moved from italy to the buffer between the kurds and the sunnis and he would have come to the rest of the force and it is my belief that the political situation as a result would have been profoundly different because we would not have been conducting the operations that would have conducted prior to may in the aftermath and 03, and thereby change the political latitude and circumstances of the time. >> what drove that decision? >> we held to get the approval of the turks to move the forces
through. there was a diplomatic issue, not a dod issue. they tasked -- we couldn't get there for whatever reason they were not willing to do that and the others here may know more about the specifics of it. but it's important strategic shortcoming that happened prior to the outbreak of hostilities and so as we go through and think about lessons it is important that all of the parts would be aligned to and understand that you are taking risks if you go forward without having to doing it properly. >> general shinseki called it more than just one extra division. >> the combat operations and the aftermath were two different set of circumstances and so you really want to go on a plan whether there was a plan for the reconstruction. where was this calculation?
invite you coming back to the troops what the political circumstances are going to be and how long we were going to take saddam out of the picture and what the reaction of the populations were going to be and they didn't in the end mesh and they were not people intended to do it. islamic what's dhaka the reaction on the ground to find things on the ground like okay the iraqi people are reacting this week the infrastructure is not what we would expect to find from the satellite images in the air. you all especially faugh for sent reports that at various times. what were your response when you told folks in the pentagon we're seeing an insurgency, we are seeing signs that this is running away from.
>> i was working john and we very rarely saw fit for not only were faced with violence, but that we didn't even have control of the famous road between the airport and the embassy and the green zone and that we were not focused on what we leader came to focus on earlier in vietnam which is protecting the population that was not a part of the mission. the answer was to stand up the iraqi army. i don't get into the painful details that led to a quickly deciding that billions of dollars had to be shifted from long-range projects and to supporting digit petraeus ackle in funding the police and the armed forces or indirectly through the programs shock terms in the field kind of development assistance to get people back to
work and such because if we had a tremendous problem. we fascinated that on to washington and the solution was basically stand up the iraqi army and they will be able to take over the job. the problem was the iraqi army was not easy to stand up and took a great many years and a lot of fighting to do that. islamic and in the meantime the insurgency established itself. >> and then of course in 2006 it really blew up. >> it's important also to understand that the insurgency wasn't a matter of assets were just the iraqi army unhappy with the debaathification are the commissioning of the army. it was a sunni insurgency. the debaathification was considered on the ground to be a desunifacation accepting it would become the shia majority rule and they would participate.
but the institutions that kept the rule in place, namely the baptist party we went after and no one saw the beating it could be that occasion. they saw the sunni insurgency. i would have taken it one step further. every focus of what we're doing is to not only to don saddam hussein but to leave the country in the hands of its population which is 80% mullen sunni and minn they wouldn't be out of the power that they would have and so to one or another extend it was likely that they were going to react. >> this is a sort of agonizing decision. let me try to put it in about three sentences. instead of a successful invasion with a quick result and installing painlessly a new iraqi government, we found that instead we have to go through a one year occupation, billions
and billions of dollars in building up their police and armed forces, a secular war and several elections but finally we are at where ideally we would have liked to have been in the spring or summer of 2003. so, just by way of illustration of how things can take eight or nine years later you think they might when you plan them. >> which is the common u.s. military counter insurgency takes about a decade. but the painful part is some of the steps that we've missed along the way. i still have to ask a man of time i've talked to generals and i've spoken to the cia officers whose careers were scuffed because they stood up before it was acceptable to say there's
good insurgency building here. so i have to ask what was happening when some of these reports came back to the pentagon? >> aver to get a great deal of seriousness. i don't know about people's careers that said they are discovered because of having said so. as i recall the circus as we had at the time this is march through september of 03. there is a great deal of how this was great to shake itself out. i was there june of 03 with a congressional delegation with senator warner and senator levin, senator collins and a number of others, and the circumstances of the time didn't lend themselves to the conclusion we were headed rapidly and that.
so you get to the fall and there are reports now talking about insurgency comes of the question then becomes what is -- what was the implication of it being an insurgency and as he went through a description being one kind of thing to another thing it more for overtime so that was in opposition and the population is true that there was a center of gravity in the fall of 03 is a little harder. by the time you get to the turn of the year and 04 it's become clear. by the time you move into the 04 timeframe that's where we are petraeus, these things don't turn on the line and the conversion of the force i remember this vividly starts in august of 03 why are people still inside of their vehicles,
why aren't they on the ground the chilling the streets and with that you begin the evolution of military side of the reaction to what was taking place. it was a vivid conversation. >> are you saying secretary rumsfeld said we need a counterinsurgency program on the ground? >> by the august 03, it was clear that this thing was turning in the direction of the was not anticipated and was not planned for in the detail that essentially was by the time we got into 04. >> let's get to the next pivot which will then take us to some of the big issues i know you will want to talk about about iraq today. the next was 2006. you had an underground fight between al qaeda of iraq trying to trigger shiite sunni dispute. you have the political backdrop. the two were fighting over the
government. we were trying to arbitrate, and you have the bombing of the gold market of the shrine, and the decision by general mukasey at the time to keep u.s. troops and let the iraqi army to handle the unrest. i remember what happened over the next month. the death squad started going out seeking revenge commander literally a hundred bodies a day started showing up in the street. many of them people were killed by those of the time that for the power group so it is really terrific stuff. is that something we should have or could have prevented? i would let anyone jump in. >> i would say yes.
we did have a lot of troops there at various points by keeping the troops down because of the najif fighting in the summer of 2004. we had well over 150,000 troops and that isn't too far down from where we were. the question was did the troops have the mission of going out and securing the population. during my time working in iraq from 2005 to to those of sixth and then less intensively 2007 when the surge began i didn't see that clear mission to protect the population. >> yet there was also the argument being made by the iraqis that i spoke to get off our streets or more of an irritant. at what point does having a u.s.
patrol your street all the time trigger more violence? what do you all think about? did you think of that argument at the time? >> i was back in washington at the time, and i recalled not so much the marching orders of the military was as much as the despair in the sense of despair was felt in washington from the president on down in terms of the violence. i think that he saw the whole project, the whole effort to going down the drain, and that's when he commissioned a small group of people led by the national security adviser to come up and spent several months as some people in the room are involved in various parts of that effort to think about what
it was we could do next to try to salvage the situation it was conjured up and even then i don't think it had much support because analysts, many of the analysts were extremely pessimistic and i think there was hardly anything we could do about the situation at that point. >> i would like to say i agree that we should have and we could have done more on the street but i also make the point that it was a political issue we did not understand the statements like these. deer just like the nazi dead-enders. it's all about party dead-enders. this is a sectarian problem and we are slow to catch on to that
and slow to try to forge a government that involved everybody that involve all the entities. that said, i think they were in the mood for revenge against the sunnis, and i think it's a very difficult undertaking to ask americans to do that, and finally i was in iraq the u.s. military pulled out of the town and they pulled out june 30 at the forces agreement in 2009, and they get up and it was kind of hard to take. he was saying this is a great victory for the iraqi people. and i thought how can you say something like that? then he continued and said with all great victories it will come with costs and basically he
competed the speech i couldn't understand what he was talking about which is everyone wants to see the streets return to the iraqi sovereignty, but everyone knew that the iraqi army is not exactly the world's greatest fighting force, and they are going to be many problems in terms of the civilian casualties and just simply getting half the population ready for the problems understanding the have to endure that if they are going to regain sovereignty. i feel hour that moment thinking of this issue of sovereignty is huge for the iraqi is to keep that fractious country together and i think the fact that we tried this occupation probably as we look back and we are looking at it somehow in the optic of nazi germany 1945 it's probably the wrong way to think of the place. >> there was actually to insurgencies and they were quite
different. the sunni is al qaeda coming up on top of it and shia led by muqtada al-sadr. some of that was supported buy around 1/6 separate subject but much of it was basically bubbling up from below essentially whenever you are going to a country regardless of how good your motives or how important and necessary, you are going to generate actions. yes these reactions are going to be stronger if you are out on the street throwing water levels of people they are going to be there even if you are the wisconsin bases around the country. it is a history of iraq and turkey and history of any other country and he exploded that clearly, very selfishly because you saw that this was the way to build up the on political capital because that has resonance among the populations of at various times we were fighting in the areas done and sadr city.
>> part of this there was a year of concentrated intelligence let special operations actions against al qaed, against actor is not taken off the stage and then to a surge came in to read to you think it worked or do you think it was special rations actions before that? what do you think turned them around? >> no military operations succeed without their having been some amount of preparation going forward. so the work the wisdom by general casey and others during the course of the year was significant. the sons of iraq, the arab awakening and a member was terribly important and that had been underway for some time.
those folks finally figured out that this al qaeda thing wasn't working for them and that they would be better off coming to terms at least with the u.s. military there remained the political reconciliation of least. and you are talking about certainly did have a way of military term setting the conditions on which the surge forces fell, and in late what was it 06 and 07. mauney view is that they gave the final push to allow the things that have begun to overtaken the parties and allowed them to kind of backup and reconvene and find every now and the face of what was a significant strategic political decision but the president at no small risk to say we are going to do the surge, he was the
principal supporter of the surge. there is no question about it and he drove that. so that was in my view a courageous but absolutely essential strategic decision which played itself out. the gentleman here have a lot to do with it. the president took that decision and he pushed forward. but i do believe the prior year meant a lot. >> you also saw the end of the surge, you saw the benefits of it. did it work when you were there? >> i would just be careful how you define the surge. i think you have to disaggregate it, and the reason i say that is a thing we need to be careful that whenever we are in a messy situation we say we need a surge, like it's some kind of thing that will fix every problem. it doesn't. and in the case of iraq, the surge, and i am very pleased that you talked about general casey's rall before this always
known as the surge because there's an awful lot of work and especially work within the sunni community we could see that al qaeda and others that were overplaying their hand our troops went in and worked with local sheiks and used it as a weapon of war. if this isn't alone and at times i will give you this money if your people stop shooting at us. if they don't stop shooting at us i want to view this money. this kind of stuff is going on in these are initiatives them by 22 americans. so, one has to be careful about talking about these issues about the surge when really what we are finding is all of the well who trained troops were running lessons on the ground, and finally, we talked about the shia issue but it was mulkey who said i've had enough of these
groups in basra to read a lot of people were telling him don't do that. and in fact maliki went in there and got himself in trouble. he was over his head and so we had to bring in troops and the next thing you know the background is going to the u.s. press, maliki was in trouble but good thing we were there. maliki took the decision creating all kind of problems within the shia also much so he had real trouble putting together the coalition because he participated in a role in the surge, and so i ate what just be careful looking in terms of the whole build transfer triet there is a lot more going on, and i would be careful of using it as a solution for other problems and other countries. >> just by way of addition to that, it seems to me that it is the surge plus the fact you then
have an iraqi government that is starting to evolve into a credible political entity both through building at its security forces and having gone through a process of a couple of elections, and the prime minister enso temmins treen that he has quite and then press it political devotee. such data devotee and confidence in his role that he has agreements in the u.s.. so, -- >> let me jump in because i think we have been unfair on that issue, and that's a subject i discussed with president bush several times when i was deputy secretary of state. ideally in vietnam and afghanistan, in iraq, we would want to have a residual force in the country. you could leave them behind for support, intelligence, what have you. the kind of obvious things you could do to sort of forced all
the players with the local forces. that's what we wanted in iraq. mr. melody said no, he didn't want any single u.s. troops left behind. and george bush had a difficult decision. jul insist on what i really want, or do i run the risk of a democrat running their next election and just deciding how we are going to withdraw from iraq immediately. so what he decided, he chose what i think to consider to be the loss of two weevils. the status of forces agreement that provided for the complete withdrawal by the date that was far enough along so that at least the withdrawal would be ordered. but i think it is not right to suggest that it's this administration that it did not succeed in weaving or arranging for a residual force to step behind. we did make efforts to accomplish about. but let's be honest, george bush
is the man that agreed to that. >> yet we did plan to have up to 5,000 troops continuing to work with iraqi forces and hunting al qaeda and keeping iraq stable. you were there trying to negotiate. >> let me give some background and pick up on where john left off. in the context of 2008 they were a big issue and they wanted to seek their sovereignty manifest on the streets and in the basis. what changed between 2008 to 20,111th of agency we want to live up to our commitments. after we pulled out of the city's and then after 2010 there was one that the obama administration made on the 2008 troop presence to end the combat
mission because the fighting was the being done by the iraqis. they could see that we were on a path to pull our combat troops out so the question was it's not such a big thing if we still have some american troops left because there was no doubt the had already purchased were assumed over $10 billion. they were engaged in many military and intelligence operations and activities, and was obviously of interest to keep some kind of american security presence because the residual threat from al qaeda and the possibility of the militia again both trainers and special forces and intelligence and a lot of the administrator stuff, the figure that we were basically focus on. the problem is not in the troop presence. maliki said i need political coverage because the status of forces agreement under the iraqi scheme of things had to go to
the parliament so i'm going to need all the political parties at least most of them to support. but in the time that we actually fleet out the plan and detail to him in june and october there were three major meetings of all of the parties including the cyprus. all of the softer as agreed to have a u.s. military presence. what they disagreed on was to give the americans legal communities which is the key ingredient. really wanted the troops and wonder what the troops would do so we are happy to have the troops but we kind of give you the ability to steal bases and stay out of trouble and everything will be okay so we couldn't square that. at the end of the day we decided we would go with a more traditional approach as we have done in saudi arabia and other countries without combat troops basically a combatant commander
on the ground but rather the large security system office large diplomatic sharing operation and other things to try to do as to the training and equipping counter terrorism operations so that is how that rolled out. >> the overall administration planned it. they didn't want it to work. >> i talked to president obama please and vice president bye dennett minerals times and they wanted a presence of american troops during training, counterterrorism and other such activities and the reason and we can get to this and a second, they could see that this was a success. and this was something that an expert could -- unexpectedly came out of america and they didn't want to risk anything. >> the same conversation with vice president biden and obama.
they didn't want to make it a success and didn't want to see an extension. so, the word let's get to some of the aftermath questions. starting with al qaeda. the al qaeda presence in iraq prior to the u.s. invasion. right now the most recent u.s. intelligence estimate that i have is the al qaeda presence around a thousand fighters, one of the largest al qaeda branches possibly ahead now, but large, dangerous over the weekend talk about reviving the organization, and we've seen a rash of calculated coordinated sophisticated bombings. have we produced something that is brenda be with us for some time? >> it was huge back in 2005,
2006, 2007. it dropped and dropped to a patent that was manifest when i logged in august of 2010 and right after i arrived there was a horrible series of attacks in the country bigger than the ones last week that rall al qaeda. since that time again continuing pressure both from the operations, our intelligence multipliers and the iraqi forces were quite a good and counterterrorism and the attacks dropped for them. but still, about once a month you should get a series of attacks throughout the country and people felt that they saw a spike back in early 2012. we looked at it carefully. it was somewhat different from a somewhat larger set of the tax and casualties but again, nothing surprising compared to even 20 tim, let alone 2008 or 2006. but it's something you have to
watch. politically, the polls that we have seen in the political branch such as al qaeda have literally zero support in poland among the sunnis and iraq, so the of basically through criminal activities the only place they operate with limited impunity but apart from that the very skilled capability and children and suicide bombers and explosives throughout the country and they aren't to continue to have that. the political impact of that however right now is not very high. once before they were able to expand and have a considerable -- >> they are now holding territory. they are not holding territory. we are not seeing fallujah the wonder al qaeda bouck the command. but i think it does reflect what is going on in the region and probably some countries that were more helpful in terms of combating flows either foreign
fighters were financial flow have other priorities right now, so i think it is to some extent one of those externalities' of the arab spurring or what ever we are calling it. but it's pretty clear -- sorry about that. it's pretty clear that with america agana or the perception that somehow with the troops gone there is the cents including the extreme radical sunni that the country is once again up for grabs. >> when you look back at that and think the invasion was about making the u.s. safer yet you've got this large al qaeda presence could present a transnational threat.
we will get to the next question about the positives and negatives. >> sure. and i think chris give you a reasonable answer as to why those things occur and they were not a eradicated in the period. they were people that survived and there were others that had infiltrated. is it possible now for them to be drawn from the population to other places? yes. so, is there a continuing underlining turmoil in the region? yes. what does that .2? it really points to the need for the united states to make plain its intention with respect to the security regional standing security in the region to do it visibly, would not in a way necessarily that is going to result in the reactions when one
overplays the hand. so, the lesson learned is one of those, and the administration has done a number of those things. so there will talk about the deployment of missiles and the reorganization of the fifth fleet. there's a number of those things that have taken place as they have been trying to send the message that yes while there is not a large u.s. military presence inside of iraq, the united states has not lost its interest and it is going to continue to play a leading role in that part of the world. >> but may bring it back to the final question that i have for you that we talked about earlier. before we opened up to the floor. we have 4500 american troops. the study says we lost about 719 contractors, african-american if
they were to range up to 100,000 people what did we learn? >> who wants to start? >> they were much more talkative earlier today. first of all, you learn that we can succeed. iraq is a success story for the american policy in this particular american night. was a difficult success and was precarious. i say this and all the time that the first thing i do is click on the iraq news to see if i have to modify what i say because this is now still very precarious and faces the underlining fisher's to the to figures we all know about about the sunni and shia barras about interference by iran and activity by the turks also
requires american engagement in the region but sitting on top of the embassy with $6 billion i certainly feel only the fact america had abandoned become so it's a success but a limited success. what we need is these things are very high, very difficult. they have a huge impact in libya and today in syria and part of the administration has to be a reaction to a very negative reaction to the american people with various points to what we are doing and not doing in iraq. second and this is a big thing i will touch on because it's, on almost everyone on the panel this idea whether it is counterterrorism or the drones or whatever but it's got to be the political from the economic, the reconciliation and all that. we tried that and we put huge amounts of money into it and we would double the down on that at various points. it's a very hard even without
the uncertainty to the ve development systems and nation-building and reconciliation of the political forces but that is the exit strategy for the american troops we are going to have a lot of trouble. estimates for think invading iraq we took on the toughest problem there is in the region. we were the persian meets the ear of do the tough arab world, the turkish world meets the arab world. i can't ughest place. if you go into a tough place don't just do it on adrenaline, do it buy maybe doing a little homework, and i feel we should have done an awful lot more homework about when you look at a dictator the first question shouldn't be how we get rid of them, the first should be how do we get there and once you figure
out how a person like saddam hussein got there that will help inform how to get rid of them. clearly iraq has to have a combination of those communities and the kurds, but that has to be what works. to go in and think that the debaathification in 1945 as opposed to getting them out i don't think we understand where the fault lines were to read the fault line of dictatorship and democracy was something we understood, and we would like to rectify that. with the sunni shia fault - given about a thousand years and usually when you have a fault line that's been there for a thousand years, you might want to pay a little more attention to how you are going to deal with that. i'm not saying it was a very hard thing.
i agree with jim that it is going in the right direction and i would put myself on the glass half full site and i know president bush will to give of grief for the rest of history that the invasion of iraq but i don't think that anyone can say he didn't have the guts to take on the toughest problem in the middle east. so i hope -- there are ugonda in and gardeners and hungarian. a regular. i would go in there and it was great. it's a very unusual situation. at this point, i think what we have to stay engaged on it.
estimate on the every with everything that has been said. i think we need to also encourage our other to be supportive of iraq. i know we've been doing that but it's critical of you talk about diplomacy it's one of the most critical diplomatic in the whole situation because when we went in and the and this project, it was really isolated from its arab neighborhood, and that has started to get better. the last point i would make as we watch the situation politically going forward and provided a restate fighting began influence their internal politics to the same degree you had 100,000 troops there. but still for what interest and levels of support influence political moderations inside iraq and the key thing to watch apart from the evolution of their electoral process and
whether there are forces and police can become truly national institutions that is the metric that can become national institutions or these are going to become a shia militia which is what we want to avoid at all costs. >> que shared a grammar lesson this morning that you took away. >> but me give you but i think is a light of it. the decision to invade iraq will be historical. one of the great strategic decisions of the first half of the 21st century. if it proves not to be their greatest and will prove to be the greatest if as you said here we see this coming and will be one of the greatest strategic victories in the united states, because we can take and they get
a success in iraq and what i consider to be some of the aftershocks you see flowing through the region whether it be in of libya or egypt are now in syria and after syria becomes lebanon and after lebanon comes jordan and after those comes saudi arabia, this place is in motion the way that it hasn't been for a century and we have the opportunity to shape that. it comes directly as a result of having invaded iraq. whether you thought was a good idea or bad idea the decision was taken and now the opportunity in front of us is enormous. to reshape that if we stick with it and see it through. >> i think history will prove that it was a success. i think it's can't prove to have been a success. >> that is the way to open to questions. questions from the audience.
>> i'm giving you the challenge to get the microphone there. >> steve was a friend and colleague. >> each of you would be willing to answer this question if they are still in power and we haven't invaded and we hadn't gotten into iraq and they were still in power, what what -- how would that have affected us for the last decade in the arab world? >> i don't know if we have time for all of you to answer that. my former colleague and friend come counterfactual history -- [laughter] i think my answer is it comes from what i said we have seen
the place still at what has been relieved only by the natural passing of the various dictators in the region. what's happened if there's been in change it would have been good for us. that wasn't a good such reason for the united states. >> it's too big of a question to answer and we need detail but one of the things we haven't focused elon most of the iraqi people thought it would have been a scenario than us going and despite the 100,000 killed and despite the laws and infrastructure in all the problems because before 2003, the kurds and the shia didn't get much electricity in any case or any other of the services. as a, they will be of the
opinion that it's a good thing that he went >> i wish we had the iraqi ambassador here. >> i think we would have had a bloody civil war by 2012. they would probably be out of there by now, and when you look at the development of kurdistan, it really started in 05. it didn't just start in 2003. some people argued already has one of the door. i think it's if he had been left in charge it would have been 2 feet out the door. saddam was in no shape to invade kurdistan anymore. he just couldn't do it. and so, i think it would be one big difference. and i think they would put up with a much larger and the the bloody civil war.
>> brett gilman from the time and princeton. from the services of provocation, i would sharpen the question asking whether i think only so far you've answered with stipulate that saddam was the guy that was hostile in the u.s. interest and the present government is better at both for iraqis than americans' interest in the region with a whole benefit of hindsight closer to 1 billion the 5,000 the 100,000 of the u.s. to the regional military and the propaganda value for al qaeda and so on would you like your credit card down what you do it again.
i think from the point of view it's a very different question. >> do you think of was worth it. >> i have opinions about that and i've kept them to myself the whole time i was there and i think i could keep that right up. >> i think it is an important point. we don't talk about with the iraqi is think i wish we hadn't over from the guy and i think steve points to the opportunities ahead. we haven't talked about the economic opportunities and the country starts producing six or
7,000 a day it was describing its big from the time of the outside powers if i remember correctly in that sense i think might not have been otherwise. before the invasion we were administering the program that was our relationship with iraq. >> when you live your life over again knowing what you know now and he said if i did it would have been my life. so, you don't really get a chance to know the outcome before you start. if you say knowing what you know now what you now what you did then begins to sound like a country song. [laughter]
that's a different point. i would accept that as a question. but given what we knew at that time and what we thought we knew at the time in the circumstances under which the decisions were taken, i think they are justified all and indefensible and as i said earlier, they will turn out to have been one of the great strategic decisions of the 21st century and if we follow through that will be a great victory for the united states, not just for the people of iraq. >> having spent three years they're trying to help push in the right direction, we should be very careful about going into a country and deciding we are going to get rid of political system and introduce a new one. we are inventing that as we went
along wouldn't you say? we kept trying and then we tried something different and then ended workout. steve is right. but as i said, it's very contingent but may not in the end workout, and we have very little despite all of the effort we are continuing to put into it and is worthwhile and important effort we have very little control with the other is i would say this is a cautionary lesson about that even if it works well and if it doesn't work out well coming to know the answer to the question. >> at a lower level you are asking the cosmic question for think it is a level one as to how to do these kind of things. if you find yourself again in these kind of situations, i think we would media relearning number of lessons in history be careful before, look before you leap. nation-building is not that easy to do. and i, for me the biggest lesson
in that category really is right from the beginning you've got to work on building up local capacity, and we -- i remember in vietnam general westmoreland wanted us to do all the fighting and he avoided the issue of the vietnamization and it wasn't until they took over that we began the process and of course buy then we had stopped the political will with the american people for the enthusiasm for the enterprise to be as a comedy about the local capacity when you contemplate these kind of adventures. >> one of the great ironies of the way the world unfolded, and now speaking from the perspective of having listened to the secretary of defense that he and dug and paul and others made, the desire was to in fact rely more on local capacity to indeed build up the force
sooner, not to engage in an occupation because as some of you heard the secretary's speech about break your bones and rely on a slant slint. he was not so much trying to do this on the cheap which is frequently the criticism. he was looking to do it in a way that would have a duty to align the peace part such that amount of time that the united states remained deeply engaged was for the speed by which local capacity could be brought up. it's fair to say that the train that was supposed to have taken place, the local electric grid being set back up, the water being restored many of those went badly there's no question about that but we didn't have to talk about those things. the answer is yes. did they go well? the answer is no.
is there a call the ability to be found for the reasons why it didn't go well? probably. we can dive in there and begin to separate why some of these things didn't work. but, i don't think it's fair to say that the possible consequences might be. it's been a candidate just thought it would be easier. they didn't think it was pretty easy. everybody in fact i think thought of as we to be hard and most of you remember the secretary had that memo he went through all the things that were going to be hard and most did. so, it wasn't the case of thinking it was pretty easy. it's just that in the doing of it, it didn't get done in the way that people had intended for it to get done, which goes into the point where things don't usually go according to plan. >> i could have some follow-ups but to get a couple of questions from the audience.
>> richard friedman, national strategy forum. listened learned from the future to be applied before we consider invading standard of luxembourg. red tape pushback and there is a formula of of least ten issues could be applied before you make the decision to go or no vote and they are pretty much the obvious and i wonder whether they had been applied, water over the dam. but at least for the future, consider at least ten of these things which is if one-size-fits-all matrix the manners of white to the neighbors that would be the turks and whether they would allow us to bring the armored division. time, blood, money can't preserving institutions,
political vacuum, u.s. domestic political reaction, and finally, the regional power shift in the country. it seems those might be the elementary things come and i wonder whether or not there is any red team which pushback that can be applied to future activities to what we've had in iraq. >> the cia out look that intelligence after this and established the process to help the osama bin laden race interrogate. so was very similar process the dod nist? >> no one took away lessons learned. it was reviewed and thought about and it's usually said there is no plan.
>> why don't we do that lightning round thing? i want to get to questions. >> ambassador hill, my name is bob myers, and i had a question as to whether those powers that decided to invade iraq new this fact, that 80-90% of sunni and shia mayor he their first cousins. -- mary their first cousins. >> that's an interesting question. and one from over here. the gentleman in the blue shirt. >> i'm very interested in doctor hill's comments about learning and how you take experience, whether we could have done more, i'm thinking, i'll use a small
example. the leadership of the army leading into this had just spent years before yugoslavia, what amounted to occupation operations. like ambassador i spencer bruce in vietnam. the relevant lessons there, but shinseki and other spent years, and he got fired by rumsfeld for suggesting it would take a much more significant force to do it. i used that small example to ask how, why, how, at the top level can we look more accurately at the recent past from lessons learned and carry them forward a foregoing this direction? >> gentlemen, so have we thought about the sunni family structure? >> i can't say, i mean maybe other people can comment on whether we knew about antimarriage at first cousins,
but i will say at the end of the gulf war, it's often understood in the united states that we didn't march on baghdad because the coalitions would have broken up. we always understood that without going too deep into the analysis, the and the coalition would have broken up is that our era of allies would accept the idea of us going into still another country it's one thing to liberate kuwait. atkins it's nothing to march into iraq. the analysis stopped there. it might even worthwhile to have a deeper look at why the saudis would not have wanted to overthrow a sunni regime in baghdad. if we thought about why they wouldn't want us to overthrow the sunni regime in baghdad, i.e., he would become a shia regime in baghdad, mind you the studies would have have believed us if we would've said oh, no, it will be a coalition, sunnis, shia, everyone will live together but i don't think they would buy that argument so that's what was going on.
it's one thing to kick this guy out of kuwait. it's another thing to flip iraq into a shia country. and that's something we should give it a little more thought to, rather than just consider the gulf war as some kind of unfinished business and by golly now that we've been attacked by 9/11, we're going to finish it. i think that was a serious failure of concept on our part. >> if i could answer this and to some degree, get back to the question, but the most important thing i think despite all the things i said today is we've heard with steve cambone cink's is going to be a game changer. the impression i got when i got there and, the decision and the bush administration was largely if we succeed in iraq, taking this content and creating a democratic from the government, this is going to be a game changer and we've got to try this. history is not that it's final decision.
it's still quite possible and really would be a very important step but it's also quite possible that it walks after tremendous cost. have a going to american people and say hey, do you feel lucky today, let's roll the dice, this may involve a decade, this may involve tying up much of our diplomatic dance with. this may involve up to a trillion dollars, and maybe it will work. it will be a game changer. maybe it won't. what you think lex that's what all of these teams and office of us us have what it produced was a lot of and stuff. this was not like going into kuwait in 1991. that was an easy -- the outcome was pretty clear. there was nothing clear to see about this, all of the problems people identified emerged, and we'll don't more or less with most of them. so i would just leave it at him if you decide that this is going to be a game changer, then you basically have to go the dice. the question is how do you bring the american people in. >> and yet we still have a
divided and al qaeda presence that kicked off a civil war once before. >> the government is functioning. you have in its own way, right, i remember being there in '04 and a part parties been around the table and this was a collection of folks who ever they were on the street running around, pick up and arrested and put in detention. they were all sitting at the table talking to one another. they knew about one another. so the question is do we give them the kind of support and help, which leads me to respond to the question about additional forces, back to my point about the approach at least that was in the secretary's mind. and let me despite my point about counterfactual, ask this question. a short period of time in which the united states is the occupying power, by superior of, say, three to four years during which the united states is the occupying power, which of those
would one want to choose? so one of the things one wants to think about as you are planning your campaign is how do you want to manage that outcome? and from the point of view, three, four year occupation was not the choice that one wanted to plan against, that we ended up over a longer period of time in combat operations we intended is true. i have said that it would take a look and see why that is the case. but as a strategic planning factor, do you want to plan for a four year occupation, you want to play in the thing in a way that you can minimize the time of occupation, speed the period in time in which the local people are able to take over the functions that are necessary to run the country, and then move into the kind of decision we talked about earlier which is all the other kinds of things.
that's an interesting question to take away from our experience. >> final thoughts? >> tbd. i just don't think we can make the historical judgment at this point. our views are going to be influenced by the department over the next decade or so. that's my belief. >> i want to thank you all for taking part in this panel. you've answered some tough questions up. [applause] we've all lost friends in iraq and i think what the important things is to try to take some of the motion out of the debate and usually answer the question seriously, and they appreciate you all doing that today. thank you very much. >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays feature live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights, watch key public
policy events. and every week in the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. indeed pass programs and get our schedules at our website and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> the republican national convention starts on monday. you can see live coverage from the opening gavel to the closing on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. the democratic national convention is the following week. c-span cameras were in tampa, florida, application of the republican convention to learn a bit about the city. >> that the florida has a very unique history, especially the immigrant heritage in the early 1900s, late 1800s right here in ybor city, a part of tampa. young people and all the light came to work in the cigar factory. they came from spain.
they came from cuba. they came from italy, and developed a very vibrant latin quarter. and what is unique about the various immigrant societies is they all establish their own clubs or mutual aid societies. we are here at one of the most vibrant and exciting clubs for the immigrant community, primarily centro asturiano, the folks here came from spain through cuba to work in the cigar factory. they had a lot of young men especially, but over time because of the culture, the theater here, they teams in the casino and the clubs, the dances, and the health care, the hospital they established, they became a very integrated, unique community. and today, if you live in tampa, oftentimes you can point back to your grandfather or your grandmother who worked in the
cigar factories and was a member of centro asturiano, or the italian club or the cuban club as well. >> four score and seven years later, abraham lincoln called upon the people of all a america to renew their dedication and their commitment to a government of, for and by the people. isn't this once again time to renew our contact of freedom? the pledge to each other -- [applause] the pledge to each other all that is destined allies, all that gives meaning to them, for the sake of this, our beloved and blessed land. together, let us make this a new beginning. let us make a commitment to care for the needy, to teach our children the virtues handed down to us by our families, to have the courage to defend those values and virtues of the willingness to sacrifice for them. let us pledge to restore in our
time the american spirit of voluntary service, of cooperation, of private and community initiative, a spirit that flows like a deep and mighty river through the history of our nation. as you -- as your nominee i pledge to restore to to the federal government the capacity to do the people's work without dominating their lives. >> ronald reagan's 1980 speech is one of the speeches from past republican conventions. we will show you on saturday to the lineup also includes dwight eisenhower, barry goldwater. and later you'll hear from richard nixon, george w. bush and john mccain. watch them all the saturday starting at 7 p.m. on c-span. >> the aspen institute held its annual security forum in colorado focusing on issues ranging from counterterrorism to cybersecurity. next discussion on the role of the white house and counterterrorism.
over the next our panelists including bush and obama administration national security officials will talk about the delicate balance of a presidential in national security issues. >> all right everyone. we're going to get started now. this next panel will focus on the white house role in counterterrorism here at moderating is michael crowley. michael is a senior correspondent for time. he writes about washington, the obama administration and national security issues. he previously wrote about foreign policy for "the new republic." he's also written for new york magazine, g2, slate, and "the new york times" magazines. is major articles in recent years have included profiles of white house counterterrorism chief john brennan, former defense secretary robert gates, and efforts to combat the risk of nuclear terrorism. michael.
>> hi, everybody. thank you. i'm going to briefly into his our panelists before we dive in. ken wainstein to my left spent two decades in federal law enforcement and homeland security including as general counsel to the fbi and chief of staff. the fbi director robert mueller. as they listed to turn in washington, d.c. and as the first assistant attorney general for national security. in 2008 he became homeland security adviser to george w. bush. juan zarate service deputy assistant to the president and deputy national secret advisor of combating terrorism from 2005-2000 previously served as assistant secretary of the treasury for terrorist financing of financial crime where among other things he let the global hunt for saddam hussein's adve advent. and quintan wiktorowicz as one of the country's top experts on muslim communities in islamic movements and radicalization. since january he has been seen in director for community partnership on the white house as national security staff focus
on building partnership between the federal government and the private sector and local communities including partnerships to counter violent extremism. previously he served as the white house senior director for global engagement and was posted to the u.s. embassy in london. he studied islam in cairo and has conducted extensive fieldwork on violent extremism in jordan. can, why don't i start with you. i'll ask an an open-ended question but we talked in the last couple days about sony parts of the federal government with responsibilities for counterterrorism. the white house is ahead, or the hub of this enormous wheel. and have to coordinate, absorb vast amounts of information and action. and i wonder if you just talk for a little bit about almost the managerial challenge of that in your role. and what's the best role for the white house is, that straddles
the balance between being overwhelmed by all that external, that huge apparatus, but also not micromanaging it at the same time. >> yeah, good question because i think it is going to frame the discussion were going to have here today. in terms of what is the best balance i think we can export it to different situations, there is a variable to try to get to what we think is the best balance. but just to step back and sort of identify what you focus on your, which is the issue that our government is made up of a number of different departments and agencies, each of which has its own subject matter expertise and its own area of responsibility. and in the counterterrorism area like in so many other areas, successful counterterrorism depends on contributions in each of the departments of agency. how does the white house would just make a critical decision both policy decisions and operational decisions, how does it get the input, get decisions, get a consensus hope among the
different cabinet officers and then translate that into decisions? keep those decisions operational. of course, in terms of policy, the construct was put in place back in 1947, where you have a council comprised of relative cabinet officers who get together, chew on policy issues to make recommendations to the president to that exist and functions quite well. the question though is well, how does that construct work when you've got operations that need to be contained? and in particular when you operations decisions that minute by minute decision-making. those decisions are decisions that made by the highest level by the one person who is constitutional of three to protect this country, and that's the president. so that's the great area and that's where the balance constantly needs to be recalibrated. one of the tough questions that we deal with, all three of us
dealt with and quintan is even with right now, is how much does the president essentially be involved, and how much should he stand back and let us cabinet officers make those decisions. there's a variety of different confederations that go into that, one of which is you don't want to neuter or cabinet officers for having the white house staff and the president make everyone of those decisions without regard to their input. by the same token counterterrorism was the primary concerns of the country. and the president needs to take an active role in critical decisions about policy and operations. so he needs to be at the table and his people need to be at the table. that's the constant balance and i guess the short answer is, there's some decisions are i guess, the bin laden rate, that's the kind of thing you need to present to say go. other operational decisions can be made lower down, and you got to sort of decide case by case. >> what do you think about that?
to have a sense of how the obama administration, the obama white house is having the challenge of not trying to present into deeply overwhelming him, but making sure that he is there at the right time for the key decision, telling him what he needs to know? >> i can speak for my expense and certainly as an outsider, give an assessment of what i am doing. but i think ken has it exactly right. there's an inherent dynamic tension within the white house between the classical of the white house, set strategy and policy, and assure coordination among all the elements of the government that have a role. and then the flipside which is how deeply do you get involved in operations. and i think that's a balance that is constantly being drawn on each and every case. and no cases like another. so i think obama administration is right. the famous photo with all of the principles facing the screen, watching, is emblematic of the fact that was a centrally driven
decision-making process, and one where the commander-in-chief had eyes on during the operation, which is in some ways the quintessential white house involvement in the case. i remember back when i joined -- joined the white house in '05, we're going through strategic strategy review, and the core element of that review, for two years, was not just what will our strategy be, not just how do we designate al qaeda, how do we deal with the ideology, but who's in charge. i remember over and over again, secretary rumsfeld coming to the meetings saying, on whom to weep in the rose? who is in charge of counterterrorism? i think the reality, not just with characters and a with al qaeda issues the government has to deal with that affect multiple departments and agencies, the answer is the president. because it is only at the white house the president has authority, diplomatic authority, the ability to regulate financially to the treasury, law enforcement, intelligence
collection. so in a way it's not an easy answer because it creates a dynamic tension of whether or not the white house he comes operational. but it's inherent in these complicated issues, especially when dealing with novel issues. quintan is helping to pioneer things like dealing with countering extremism which is not just the work of the fbi or dhs but it's also the work of housing human service, department of education. so it's only at the white house where you can coordinate that. >> quintan, why don't you give us the kind of one minute summary of what is it you do because a lot of people here might not be familiar with it. then i think we can talk about how it paints a larger picture of the topic. >> we set up a new office at the white house in january called immunity partnership, and it set up the good of all the departments and agencies work effectively with the private sector and civil society. we heard the panel is from the private sector talking about all the incredible tools and
capabilities that light outside the federal government. when we're dealing with complex issues like countering violent extremism, we need to make sure that we're working across sectors and leveraging the expertise, the nimbleness of the private sector in a very collaborative way to maximize the impact. for many of you who have occupied to build public-private partnership in the obvious, and those of you both inside and outside government, it's not easy. we have all sorts of different rules and regulations that can make a very challenging. our job right now is to make sure we start with those obstacles. and a we apply that partnership model choices of different priority issues to include transnational gangs, human trafficking and importantly countering violent extremism. so i think it might be interesting talk for a minute about what this tells us about the evolution of thinking but counterterrorism. probably throughout the government that particularly at the white house. this is a field that took a
while to get off the ground, this kind of a focus. can you talk about how it has matured over the past few years? and what it says about long-term thinking about what counterterrorism is at the white house at the top level of the government? >> actually juan and i worked together when he was at the white house. he brought me in. so i would be interested on his view on this but for me personally, post 9/11 it was a lot of genetics, a lot of data-gathering a lot to try to connect the dots and figure out what the threat was. there was a bit on the preventive psychiatry at how do we actually not so we take people off the battlefield and stop threats, but how do we stop people from becoming terrorists in first place. i think the real push on that happened probably after 77, the tide seventh attack on the transit system in london where i know the president had a very -- what just happened. we had a couple of individuals
who were cricket loving, tea drinking citizens of the uk who just killed their fellow citizens. i know that on the and of excite and the intelligence community that's with a robust program in terms of assessing how people are radicalized him and took place can how you act with no programs to counter violent extremism and then over the last i think five to 12 years, has become programmatic and limiting the analysis to actual action. >> i know someone who has talked a lot about the muslim community and sentence -- john brennan in his public remarks. he's put hybrid on to he of course is the advisor. the role of present is fascinating but i think john brennan is also a fascinating figure. iphone might talk a couple minutes about what that job looks like right now and what he's doing. for openers, maybe i would ask you, ken. what strikes me look at how the white house operates right now in britain's role is his extreme
closeness to the president. not just physical proximity, he is right downstairs from the oval office, it is very clear that the great relationship. and the president has a lot of trust in bringing. he also has quite a broad portfolio which we can talk about in a minute but can you talk about how that role has evolved and how you see it working right now and we think it is working well? >> good question. i think what points outs for the background or back up to this is those positions, the advisor to the president, with homeland security adviser our nation's good advisor, there will, vis-à-vis president and vis-à-vis cabinet officers evolving changes in on the person and depending on the situation, depending on what the president wants. nixon driving policy for a number of years when he was security adviser. different construct he would have under different presidents. so john does envoy -- does and
choices. he's a true professional. 30 years in the intelligence community. he was there at 9/11. the man has tremendous experience on intelligence matters and counterterrorism matters specifically. so he is the driver for those issues. the question though is candy, the same question we dealt with, in the bush administration, you not only have counterterrorism but you also have homeland security. so you have port security and pandemic flu, and critical infrastructure protection and all these issues that relate to hardening the homeland and protecting against threats, whether they are man-made or natural, that is an area of intense focus since 9/11 and since katrina. that portfolio is under john. john handles both the counterterrorism and large parts of the intel portfolio but he also handles that. when we were in place, the president had established and
conducts been codified homeland security counsel at homeland security adviser and our staff. that still exists as a matter of law but john, emerge the home is the home is a good council stepped in with the national security council staff, so you have pandemic planning and all that with the same stuff as communism folks focusing on foreign policy on africa and that kind of thing. >> that made sense because of the overlap between him and security adviser and the national security advisers portfolio them both of them focus on terrorism especially after 9/11. the way we handled it is juan company reported. they alter that for good reason. i think actually the way it made sense but it means john is handling that whole breath of issues, all of which are critical in any hurricane happened, you've got to drop everything and deal with it. that's tough for one person. >> juan, too much? >> i think in some ways it is. it's too much for one person. ken had to do with it before
and. remarkable individuals and professionals. the same thing with jo john brennan. these are superhumans. i think it's too many issues. but let me go back to your questions about john because i'm huge fan of john brennan. worked with him when he established the predecessor to the national counterterrorism center. great professional to know too many of the folks in the room here. but i think one challenge for him is his team so much prominence that he has to be careful and i think the white house in general, go back to the tension we talk about him has to be careful about what is becoming the center of everything. the white house being the center of operation, the center of diplomacy on these issues. we just saw for example, john standing next to the bulgarian official announcing the results of their investigation into what is purportedly hezbollah iran attacks on the bus that killed israeli citizens. and that's a challenge because john is incredibly effective, and having a white house engage is very important. but it has the potential what
ken mentioned earlier, to diminish the role of others in the government, other key departments and agencies and other agency official. if you officials knowing it's really the white house that makes decisions, it's only the white house, the ambassador gets cut out, key officials who come out get cut out. so there's a real tough balance their because they want to be defective. you want to be out there and working well with the president for the president. but the reality is you've got to balance that with not tipping the balance into operational, too much in the face of the entire government. >> might there be? john has become almost a de facto special envoy to yemen. he's visited the country something like eight times. and for a region or a country where our overwhelming top issue is counterterrorism, might it make sense that somebody in that role taking a leap like a?
>> couldn't agree more. and john has done remarkable work with yemen. fran townsend had that role in many ways in saudi arabia cordoning on all our catechism work, a lot of work on counterterrorism financing, that she helped coordinate and lead and she was the voice of president bush but i think you're right to in certain cases, that role is essential. and especially with regimes or in countries that are used to high level head of state, head of state communications to actually get things done. ..
>> i would emphasize that john also don't operate alone bringing in amazing senior directors across various components of the national securities staff to help him think through various issues, and i think john would be the first one to point to people that work for him and work with him and to give them the credit because they are just amazing patriots and specialists on the wealth of issues that john does cover from cybersecurity related issues to counter terrorism and violence extremism. >> from the issue you work on, he's put a public emphasis on that. do you feel he gets it? you know, do you feel like you have real ability to do what you need to do as a result of that? >> john, again, has had so much experience not just on al-qaeda
related issues, but the middle east, speaks arabic so when he speaks to muslim audiences, for example, he creates that empathetic link with the audiences. he understands islam. you can have detailed conversations about john about islam legal related issues, and i think for me in trying to drive t counterviolence extremism agenda, it's important to have proficiency in the poppic and don't worry about getting up to speed, but push the envelope and get programs up and running. >> yeah, i remember when i wrote about him, my favorite moment was him talking about going in the desert and, you know, going to the tents with the local shakes and roasting goats and singing songs all night. he knows the culture of the region, and that's got to be an asset. i think the president is clearly the most interesting figure here, and i think we should talk a little bit about the
presidential world in counterterrorism. you know, it seems from the outside, you have. growing and growing, and i think in particular, the first thing that comes to mind is the discussion recently about president obama's role in what has been called the kill list, approving specific targets for drone strikes. can we news that as a case study to talk about the system generally, but also to talk about how engaged the president ought to be and whether as some people said this may be almost too great a level of involvement that the president, we might not want the president making up a list like that. start on a more general level. talk about the way these decisions reach the president's desk. is it a good system right now? do you feel -- do you guys have a sense that the other levels of government are widdling down options and information adequately, and he's not being asked to make some decisions too
frequently? do you think it's working well at this moment? >> yeah, i'll start with that one. it's -- once again, like the relationship between the president and the homeland national security adviser, it varies over time between the president's role with counterterrorism. after 9/11, president bush, that was his, you know, declaring the call on the whole country to protect against the next 9/11 and establish an effective counterterrorism effort. he poured himself into that. every morning, he had a briefing with the attorney general, secretary and director of fbi. he did that for four or five years, and so he was completely informed about the threat and what we were doing to meet the threat. he knew when the director of the
fbi or the attorney general came back with the respective buildings telling the president was asking where we are on this initiative or that threat, that that forced action. he recognized that was important in the years after 9/11, trying to really build infrastructure. less necessary now that it's mature infrastructure and we are doing better against al-qaeda than then. by the same token, you want a president who is at the end of the day, having to make critical decisions like covert action. he's got to make that decision. you don't want the president to sit down and make that decision and have to get counterterrorism 101 before making a decision like that. you want a well-informed president who is sitting in the room with the cia and fbi directer and chs director on a regular basis absorbing this so he has context when he has to
make the decisions. glad to hear they have weekly meetings going through the threats and actors there. it's important the president is fully up to speed and engaged because he has to make decisions at the end of the day. >> what's your reaction to the kill list story and similar stories like it that detail an almost bracing, less so for the professionals in the room, but for average americans, a bracing degree of presidential involvement in the specific life and death decisions. >> well, i won't speak to the specifics of the story, but i think, again, ken highlights what the dynamic tension is, and i think there is a dangerous to having a white house or a president serving as the final arbiter on all sort of key operational issues. i agree with ken completely. you need a president who is engaged, will make hard decisions, like a decision to go after bin laden without perfect information, ect.. it becomes routinized that the
president is okaying each and every operational activity. that damages the system that evolved in ten years. the system, as a structure, devolves authority through the cab -- cabinets to the military, and chains of command. the military has demands to execute via orders, and the cia has authority from the president, and so on. you go down the line across the cabinet, and i think there's something very healthy about delegating the standards dimensions of operations. again, the intention for the white house to ensure not only that work is done well, but that gets to the president is what needs to get to the president. it's something that's critical, important, but you are not overwhelming the president with, you know, day-to-day decisions that really should be delegated down. one thing i say that adds to the tension, and it shouldn't be forgotten, is the political dplengs --
dimension around the decision. each and every decision that reinvolves around counterterrorism, even if appears minor would be relevant depending if the operation doesn't go well, something goes wrong, not the right oversight, and so that is also a tendency for the white house to pull decisions up because you want to be careful about how the president's orders and strategies are excueded because of media tension and the rest. the white house has to resist that temptation to suck everything in and make all of the decisions. >> as we saw in the madal case, the circumstances of the interrogation became a very politically explosive for weeks, and there was evidence in the polling, scott brown's victory in massachusetts, in the special
election, there was a serge and concern about terrorism, that people attributed to that, and there's an excellent point. >> can i comment? >> yeah. >> it's a great example because there was not the discussion within the upper agency, within the principles about what to do, but i think there was a bit of a failure not having the policy and procedures in place and understood beforehand so that when you captured this guy, when he entered, it was not just business as usual. you understood, and everybody understood, what their responsibilities were, what the decisions need to be kicked up to the national security council staff or to the president, and so i attribute that to sort of less than perfect strategizing policy on the front end just as much it was a lack of having a meeting with the dni or director with the national counterterrorism center to determine what to do with a terrorist who arrived on your shores. >> uh-huh. >> don't forget the important element of leadership. it is important. it's important for the president
to be seen by the public and the pure bureaucracy and people doing counterterrorism that he makes the decisions, decisive, and strong. i was talking to mike hayden about this yesterday, and when he walked out of the oval office, he knew he got a decision because the president is decisive. that image of a decisive leader willing to make the tough decisions in complicated and controversial areas, that pervades the bureaucracy and sends a message that encourages people to have an issue, and that's critical. >> good point. >> i'm not going to ask you to reflect on the targeting list. >> thank you. >> and the president's decisions. i think it's clear you don't want to go there. having introduced drones into the conversation, i thought i would ask you about your perspective on the drone campaign and on our counterterrorism operations generally and what the blow back
effect we may be seeing is. how does that affect your work? particularly in the question of drones. i mean, i think we've seen in the recent near miss cases, it might have been faisal shahzad who was motivated to kill americans issue and he's not the only one. our drones, a really significant problem when it comes to the challenge of counter radicalization. how much doing about that? what can you tell us about that? >> i mean, look, al-qaeda, when it's trying to recruit and radicalize people is looking to tap into anger against the united states. they will take absolutely any issue that they think plays into a narrative that the u.s. is at war with islam, whether it's this particular issue or something else that affects people in somalia, nigeria, or anywhere else. they are trying to wrap it up. it's also important to note that when al-qaeda tries to radicalize and uses these issues, sometimes they make it
up. it's not always a real policy issue that they are going after, and the one example that i saw in london back in 2002 when there was a lot of violent extremist recruitment going on, it tended to be open, even at tube stops in london and u.k., was a group sitting outside a tube stop handing out pamphlets that showed incredibly graphic images of babies that were dead. i mean, it would make you sick to your stomach to look at the images. the caption read this is what americans are doing in iraq. i looked at the images, obviously, the americans were not doing this in iraq. i asked where is this coming from? it was images from the 1980s of the chemical weapons attack by hussein against the kurds. if it was not tapping into anger about an issue like drones, it would be something else, and they are very creative at
pulling different kinds of issues and then threading them into the single narrative. >> i want to come back to an topic in an area you raised which is the president's public role and question of messaging. you are not communications professionals per se, but, you know, there was an interesting conversation on the panel yesterday about resilience and the psychology of the country and whether americans are still fully braced for what it likely to come. we had a fairly fortunate past few years, but, you know, we're going to get hilt again. we don't know how bad it's going to be. i wonder if you guys have thoughts about the evolution of the way the president talked about attempted terrorist attacks and successful ones and maybe in other countries that threaten us, and what is the
right balance is, whether we've found it, whether we are working towards it, and what is appropriate and not said that needs to be said. anyone jump on that? >> i'll take a crack at it. if you look back at the last 11 years since 9/11, you had president bush coming out, and his message was of clarity and strength. stand up to the bad guys and get them. find them, and we're going to bring justice, bring them to justice or justice to them is the word he used. that, i think, was appropriate for the time. the country was reeling after seeing thousands of people killed and iconic buildings taken down before our eyes. we wanted to see strength and resolve. counterterrorism is a knew -- nuance area with a lot at stake from privacy and everything in between. you can't capture everything in a sound bite which is what you
need to get across to the american people. how much do you want the president to say, well, we're strong, but careful about this, not sending partners this way, and right out for privacy rights this way. messaging-wise, you have to think about that. what we've seen is we've seen the very strong messaging right after 9/11, and it's as time went by, we have gone past, you know, the first years after 9/11, more talk about the nuances, which is healthy and what we need. i think what's been interesting is how when it comes to al-qaeda, the messaging here is not deferent from the last administration's. the president made it clear in the first speech that we're at war with al-qaeda. john brennan in the speech says we're at war with al-qaeda and its affiliates. there's, you know, they are taking the gloves off like the bush administration did messaging wise. >> the war on terror is largely retiredded. >> they are not using that term,
and there's reasons for that. it had a place, but there are concerns that seemed -- that that suggested to people who were not adversaries, they are not adversaries because of their religion, but they are focused on saying we're at war with al-qaeda. to your point, one of the changes we saw message-wise after 9/11 was with the muslim world, and that outreach started at the beginning right after 9/11 when president bush went to the local mosque days within after 9/11, but i think you saw a focused effort on that after president obama came, and that's helped. that's helped with the muslim world. that's helped in terms of outreach to partners generally, and so that messaging's important even if the policies have not changed much. >> your thoughts regimely, but specifically, do you have a reaction to the fact that the president didn't come back -- he was in hawaii at the time of the christmas day bombing, on vacation, and he made a point of not making too much of a show of it. he didn't come back from
vacation. brennan was there with him, and it was in a vineyard or hawaii, but brennan was in a full shoot in this paradise place. what do you think of that? seems there's been an effort to lower the temperature a bit in the way we talk about things. does that make sense? >> yeah. i actually like that quite a bit. i like the president was not jumping because al-qaeda said boo; right? i think that's very important both in preserving the dig nancy of the presidency and american power. we're not going to let terrorists around the world dictate what the president does and doesn't do, where he travelings and what he does. the keeping is that we respond appropriately and mechanisms of government are functioning. i think, you know, i have no qualms about it. it's appropriate. in fact, looking back to president bush's term, he would often say to us, it's our job to
worry about the threats. we started every day reviewing threats, and his woipt was, you know, it's not the job of the citizenry necessarily to worry day in and day out, but our job to worry about it and not the job to grandize the enemy or give them motivation. this was the rescue of the three american hostages in colombia, held for five years in the jungle there by the farc. it was a daring operation. top five list in terms of the deception to get at americans and other high level hostages. the president was central to some of that decision making. he didn't appear at the parent when the hostages returned. he had a quiet return ceremony to meet and talk with the families. he didn't want to give the farc
and the hostage takers, the gratitude knowing there are issues and the suffering they've caused was actually reaching the height of the white house. he did it quietly. i think that's important. a quick point on resilience. it's hard for the president to talk about resilience. the political costs are hard to say, look, we're going to get hit. it sounds like an excuse. i appreciate secretary napolitano talking about it, but it's a television from the ground up. it's the state and local authorities that deal with the fall out and resilience, and, actually, see something, say something strategy. that needs to be devolved down. i think that the mayors, the police chiefs have to be the face of that opposed to the president or the secretary of homeland security. >> how significant is the end of
the phrase "war op terror" for the work you do, and how attune are the communities to the rhetoric coming from the president or upper echelons from the government or when john brennan gives a speech that sends a different kind of signal. does that get noticed and trickle down? >> oh, yeah, absolutely. i think the president was the first people in the state of the union speech to speak directly to muslim-americans and the importance as part of the american fabric, and also in their role in helping keep the country safe. their cooperation with law enforcement to disrupt plots in the united states. ken's point, the shift away from the war on terror, a very broad nebraska -- nebulous is specific. you'll see john repeating this kind of message. what's that, in part, allowed us to do is then focus some of our
relationships in particular with muslim communities throughout the world on non-counterterrorism related issues which is also very important because it signifies we have diverse relationships and that we are concerned about some of the same challenges whether it's education, whether it's portable water, whether it's developing strong economies in the middle east, and i think that, in turn, has given us entree to a lot of conversations that we can have with communities about an array of national security issues we previously would struggle to have. >> on the war on terror issue, it's interesting because it's a good illustration of the thinking, and we react strongly, and, of course, there's fine tuning to be done along the way. that happens over time. the war on terror's expression, while it's a small matter, is a good illustration. there was a reason for the term. "the war on terror," and what do we do in the country when we want to mobilize people?
mobilize to meet the war. mobilized in world war ii, an isolationist country that took on the two greatest powers in the world and destroyed them because it was a war. war on drugs, you know, take on drugs, that was the war on drugs. that terminology has a mobilizing force to it. it had real value in the years after 9/11, but over time, as you thought it through and we got further from 9/11, it's moderated. it's a good example, and people say why do you use that term? there was a reason initially, but now it outlived that use. >> can i be a contrarian on this? i think not is the war on terror valuable, but it was about more than just, as been described by critics, a going after of a tactic. there was a philosophical point to that term, not only was it leveraging elements of national and military power and the legal con truck with it, but it was -- construct with it, but it was
also saying in the 21st century, we can no longer accept there's legitimacy to terror or any cause that allows a group or individual to lay claim to legitimacy by the use of violence against civilians for whatever purpose. that was driving the concept of the war on terror, and i think one of the challenges we have to collectively have as we think through what's next, post ten years after al-qaeda, post bin laden, ten years after 9/11, what are we battling? there's a fractured al-qaeda, the experts talk about it, but terrorism is out there melding and forming in many ways raising all sorts of legal and policy questions so i agree that con constraining the language helps with messages, but it does a disturbance in terms of thinking through, okay, what's the future of this? that's relevant to what happened on 9/11, but what's relevant in 2014 and beyond? i'm not sure the war on terror works, but i'm not sure the war
on al-qaeda describes it either. >> one more beat and tell us about the 3r0 depress seen, -- progress seen, hopefully it's progress, or, you know, what are we confronting when you look at counterradicallization in the country. there's worry it's only going to get worse, but do you see signs that make you hopeful? that we're getting arms around the problem a little bit? is it just a random thing we're going to have limited ability to control? specific to the work you're doing, give us a sense of how hopeful you are, hopeful you have -- an optimistic view of it? >> no, i think we made a lot of prodepress over the last -- progress over the last couple years in particular. what's the white house's role in all of this? we were stitching together departments and agencies with different tools and capabilities
and authorities that each could tackle counterviolent extremism and the preventative work from a different perspective. departments and agencies never thought about the implications of the non-counterterrorism work for counterterrorism priorities like countering violence extremism. that was a monumental task that the white house helped drive in terms of socializing the non-traditional partners in the inner agency to understand they have a role to play, and also, very importantly, we were not asking them to take their non-security related programs and to securetize them. that was one big change, organization on our end. we developed the strategy that was released last august. we developed a very detailed 22-page implementation plan that lays out specific actions that the departments and agencies are now actually implementing. then, also, our recognition is that a lot of this work has to be done by communities
themselves. radicalization takes place at very, very local levels. we do not see a lot of examples where al-qaeda sends out and broadcasts a big message and there's block recruitment and people coming in droves. it tends to be in local locations where community leaders, local law enforcement with a long tradition of community polices have expertise and relationships and a better capability to work with people on the ground to make sure this has not happened. another positive sign is watching how law enforcement, in particular, has really stepped up in taking on the mission in an exceptional way with our role of figuring out how to support them. in the context of al-qaeda inspiring extremism, mobilization by the muslim community itself. one of the challenges in europe was always a very prominent state of denial that anything was happening within the communities making it very challenging for the british government, the danish government, and others to go in
and figure out how to tackle this if the community targeted by the recruiters doesn't feel there's any kind of problem. we've seen increasing examples of muslim-american leaders taking it on themselves and then coming to government and saying we want your help. we want to work with you and partner. it's no longer a process where we are driving this alone from the federal government. we are seeing increasing signs where the communities, themselves, get active and then reaching out to us saying we want to work with you in a manner to try to force the threat. >> that is encouraging. one caveat we could spend the entire panel on, i want to touch on it briefly and then go to questions. we may have discussed it briefly. it does seem that the white house is kind of muddling through the action of the counterterrorism action right now. jane, on a panel yesterday, mentioned she -- i was very struck. she said she felt -- and i hope
i am quoting her correctly -- that the opposition for the use of military force after 9/11; which is now the basis for what we are doing, then her sense was that that was meant to be a fairly short term legal framework, and here it is, a decade later, being expanded across the world into northern africa, things that have fairly, you know, relationships, and the white house is struggling with this. can you talk about that challenge, and do you think it's time for congress to come back and provide a little more explicit guidance or is that not the solution? >> well, jane's here, ask her. [laughter] >> did i get it right? thank you, okay. >> it's a great question because i think the debate about whether or not you need a tho authorization or -- need a new authorization or update the authorities is important. the aumf is basically the kris
mas tree, and so the debates along with our right to self-defense to detain, to intergrate, to target our killings and to go beyond hot heaters of battle. it was a document drip by 9/11, a reaction to 9/11, and the perpetrators of 9/11 and al-qaeda. it's long overdue to have the debate around not just how you define the threat beyond al-qaeda and the lens of al-qaeda, but also an open and honest debate about what is our detention policy for the long term? ..